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Oregon wildfire risk law prompts extensive backlash from property owners

Resiliency

Oregon wildfire risk law prompts extensive backlash from property owners

Property owners fear loss of property value after a risk map is developed.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 8, 2022
Oregon wildfire risk law prompts extensive backlash Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

A bipartisan bill aimed at protecting property owners from wildfires that was passed by the Oregon legislature has prompted a strong backlash, according to a Grist report.

The law provided money to develop new building codes in vulnerable areas and help residents fireproof their homes. One provision requiring the state forestry department to create a comprehensive wildfire risk map with assigned risk scores for every property owner in the state proved to be highly controversial.

Hundreds of residents denounced the measure at public meetings and hundreds more wrote in to contest their risk status. Many argued that the risk map would make their insurance more expensive and their property harder to sell and less valuable.

The wildfire map controversy serves as a warning to other states and cities that want to enact similar laws to adapt to climate change. The possibility of new restrictions on homeowners in vulnerable areas may prompt significant pushback.

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