Swamped By Public Outcry, Oregon Withdraws Controversial Wildfire Risk Map

"Oregon Department of Forestry has been inundated with complaints after releasing a map of wildfire risk on every tax lot in the state."

"The Oregon Department of Forestry is hitting the reset button on its plans to finalize a map of wildfire risk on 1.8 million tax lots across Oregon.

On Thursday, the agency announced it will withdraw the wildfire risk map released in June and cancel the notices to property owners placed in high or extreme fire risk categories.

“We know how important it is to get this right,” Oregon State Forester Cal Mukumoto, said in a statement. “We knew the first iteration of an undertaking of this scale and complexity wouldn’t be perfect, but we have been and continue to be committed to improving the map and our processes related to it.”

The announcement comes after thousands of public comments and complaints about the state-mandated map poured into the forestry department’s inbox. The agency has received 750 appeals from property owners who say they were mislabeled on the wildfire risk map and more than 2,000 comments. It has a backlog of 1,700 voicemails from the public that haven’t been heard because the forestry department staff is also working to fight several fires across the state."

Cassandra Profita reports for OPB August 5, 2022.

Source: OPB, 08/08/2022