2015 ORS 477.580¹
Determination of additional fire hazards
  • notice to landowner
  • plan for reducing hazard
  • release from liability

(1) Following the issuance of a permit pursuant to ORS 477.625 (Permit to use fire or power-driven machinery), and after slashing has been created in an operation area inside or within one-eighth of one mile of a forest protection district, the forester may make a determination if such slashing and debris exists on the operation area in sufficient quantity and arrangement as to constitute an additional fire hazard that endangers life, forest resources or property, and if such area is in need of additional work or protection to reduce, abate or offset the additional fire hazard. Whenever practical, the forester shall make the determination referred to in this subsection during the administration and enforcement of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.

(2) If the forester determines that an additional fire hazard exists on the operation area sufficient to endanger life, forest resources or property, and that such area is in need of additional work or protection to reduce, abate or offset the additional fire hazard, the forester shall so notify the landowner and operator or their representatives in writing of such determination. Pursuant to rules promulgated by the State Forester, the notice to the landowner or operator shall contain provisions for offsetting the additional fire hazard by burning, improvements, extra protection or other means. The notice shall also specify a reasonable time for completion of the provisions contained therein.

(3) When the forester finds that the provisions set forth in subsection (2) of this section have been complied with or that the additional hazard has been, in the opinion of the forester, sufficiently reduced by other means to offset the hazard, the forester shall immediately issue to the operator or landowner a release from all obligations imposed by ORS 477.120 (Liability of owner or operator) (2)(c).

(4) If the forester determines that an additional fire hazard exists, the forester shall, at the request of the owner or operator, with the approval of the owner, grant a release upon payment by the owner or operator of such sum of money as the forester finds necessary to provide additional protection or means necessary to reduce or offset the additional hazard created by such slashing and other debris. In no event may this sum exceed the lesser of:

(a) $6 for each 1,000 board feet of timber harvested in an operation;

(b) The forester’s estimated cost of reducing or providing other means to offset the additional hazard; or

(c) $10 for each acre in a stand improvement operation where no timber is harvested.

(5) Moneys received under subsection (4) of this section shall be placed in the State Treasury, credited to the State Forestry Department Account and used exclusively for the purposes of forest protection within the district.

(6) Any owner of forestland may make written request to the forester to assume all obligations for the disposal or reduction of any additional fire hazard determined to exist thereon. If the forester then determines that the owner can comply with such obligation, the forester shall immediately issue to all other persons involved a written release of such obligations.

(7) Any order or determination made by the forester pursuant to this section is final unless modified or vacated in an appeal to the State Board of Forestry taken within 30 days after issuance of the order. [1965 c.253 §121; 1965 c.428 §16; 1967 c.429 §54; 1973 c.46 §5; 1975 c.74 §1; 1979 c.222 §1; 1997 c.274 §18; 2003 c.14 §317]


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 477—Fire Protection of Forests and Vegetation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors477.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.