For the first time, community wildfire risk has been mapped nationwide to help community leaders mitigate risk. The USDA Forest Service recently released this free, interactive, easy-to-use tool: Wildfire Risk to Communities. This website is designed to help community leaders nationwide understand how wildfire risk varies across a state, region, or county and allow them to prioritize actions to protect their communities.
Wildfire Risk to Communities provides data through interactive maps and charts showing risk to homes, exposure types, wildfire likelihood and vulnerable populations. It also provides various steps that elected officials, planners, and wildfire managers can take to mitigate risk through home hardening, wildfire preparedness, fuel treatments and more.
This tool is designed so that anyone can access the data. No technical or mapping skills are required, making the interactive website useful for a diverse set of users. Geospatial data and tabular data will also be available for download to allow for additional analysis. Wildfire Risk to Communities is best used for considering risk across a community rather than at the neighborhood or individual home scale.
Using this tool to examine Wasco County reveals just how much risk our community faces when compared to others in Oregon. Populated areas in Wasco County have, on average, greater risk than 91% of counties in Oregon. It shows Maupin, Pine Hollow, Shaniko, and Tygh Valley having greater risk than 96-99% of other communities in Oregon, with two Rural Service Centers, Wamic and Pine Grove, in the 100th percentile, making them the most at risk communities in the state.
Wasco County Planning can use this information in a project that is currently underway: updating our outdated 2005 Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). A CWPP identifies and prioritizes areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and recommends the types and methods of treatment on Federal and non-Federal land that will protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure and recommends measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the at-risk community. It may address issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection – or all of the above.
We are in the early stages of planning this update. When information about our CWPP update process becomes available you can find it here: WascoCWPP.com. If you would like to receive notice about this project please contact wills at co.wasco.or.us to be added to the list
|Tygh Valley||96||Rural Service Center|
|Wamic||100||Rural Service Center|
|Pine Grove||100||Rural Service Center|
|Pine Hollow||99||Rural Service Center|