SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission last week adopted revisions to a series of administrative rules pertaining to rural lands outside of cities. The new rules create opportunities for counties outside cities to approve short-term and interim sheltering solutions for individuals who have lost their homes or been otherwise displaced by wildfires. These uses are already allowed in urban areas.
Sheltering opportunities include temporary campgrounds, temporary residences, and other facilities utilizing temporary manufactured home or trailer placement. Opportunities for staging non-hazardous debris or construction equipment and materials needed for wildfire recovery efforts are also included.
Work on this subject began as temporary rules in October of 2020, responding to the devastating Labor Day fires of 2020 wildfires. Early arrival of the 2021 wildfire season made refinement of the temporary rules and codifying them as permanent opportunities a high priority for the state’s land use program. LCDC’s work on these rules have been guided by three essential principles:
- Help Oregonians.
- Enable those displace by wildfire to stay in or near their community during their time of need.
- Provide local government a swift and efficient pathway for approving needed shelter.
At the July 22 adoption hearing, LCDC Commissioner Nick Lelack of Deschutes County commented, “The thing that is really great about the way that these rules are written, is that they take into account communities like mine, where fire risk might be high everywhere. They offer a path toward providing shelter that will work for everyone.”
“The commission put a great deal of thought into these rules,” said Commission Chair Robin McArthur. “Given the urgency of addressing wildfire, this was critical action for the Commission. The adopted rules provide some relief and certainty for impacted Oregonians.”
DLCD staff continues to work on wildfire related issues in conjunction with a number of state agencies, including the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Office of Emergency Management.