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ODF offering C.O. landowners assistance for fuel reduction projects to curb wildfire risks

Property after fuels reduction work
Oregon Dept. of Forestry
Property after fuels reduction work

Focus is Juniper Canyon, DRRH and Crooked River Ranch

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District said Wednesday it is accepting applications from landowners in several areas of Central Oregon who are interested in completing fuel reduction projects around their homes. 

The intent of the projects is to reduce the potential of wildfire spreading to structures and to improve ingress/egress routes in the wildland-urban interface, specifically Juniper Canyon residents in Crook County, DRRH 1-5 & 9 in the La Pine area of Deschutes County, and Crooked River Ranch in Jefferson and Deschutes counties. 

Funding for these projects comes from the $5 million grant program established by Senate Bill 762, legislation which focuses on creating fire-adapted communities through fuels reduction of hazardous fuels on small forestlands.

Specific treatments within these project areas which are eligible for cost-share incentives include thinning of overstocked and diseased juniper and pine stands, pruning limbs on residual trees, mastication of brush and small trees, and chipping materials or burning piles onsite to remove the excess woody debris.  Landowners must provide a 25% match for work completed. 

This match can come through in-kind labor (work performed by the landowner).  Historically underserved populations, including elderly and lower income applicants, will receive priority consideration for their applications.  

Additionally, the Oregon Department of Forestry will be providing chipping opportunities for all landowners in these communities.

These communities were identified as a high priority for fuel reduction based on fuel loading, fire frequency and the ability to create contiguous treatment areas with adjacent stand management work on larger private ownership and federally managed lands. 

Reducing fire hazards across ownership at a landscape level increases the ability to slow wildfire spread, allowing firefighters to suppress fires quickly with less damage within communities and to natural resources.

Landowners who are interested in applying for cost-share for fuel reduction on their property or who would like to having chipping work completed to dispose of vegetative materials can visit https://odfcentraloregongrantinformation.blogspot.com/ for more information or contact Ross Huffman (541-549-2731) for work in Crooked River Ranch or DRRH 1-5 & 9 or Kody Johannsen for work in Juniper Canyon.

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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