PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The state map that showed residents the risk of their property being impacted by wildfires was removed and will be revised, according to the Oregon State Forester. 

The withdrawal comes after receiving feedback from thousands of Oregonians. 

State Forester Cal Mukumoto made the announcement Thursday, more than a month after the map was published on June 30. 

The color-coordinated wildland-urban interface and statewide wildfire risk map served as a visual representation of what the wildfire risk is for all of Oregon’s 1.8 million tax lots. 

The map was produced by Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Forestry was directed to maintain the map. Each tax lot’s wildfire risk was based on administrative rules adopted by the Oregon Board of Forestry. The map was a result of Senate Bill 762, which passed in 2021. The bill allocated more than $220 million for wildfire preparedness throughout the state. 

Of all the tax lots in Oregon, 8% of them (120,276) were considered to be in the wildland-urban interface and in high- or extreme-risk classifications, according to the rendition of the map published on June 30.  

The established wildland-urban interface rules require property owners in high- and extreme-risk areas to create defensible space or meet building code requirements on their property. 

The state estimated about 80,000 of the 120,276 tax lots in the wildland-urban interface have a structure that might need changes to meet new codes or standards. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry said it provided written notice to all property owners in the high- and extreme-risk classes telling them if they were in the wildland-urban interface. 

ODF held its first community information session about the wildfire risk map on July 27. At these information sessions, ODF said it planned to tell property owners how they can appeal their assigned risk class. 

In his statement Thursday, Mukumoto said they’d received specific feedback from nearly 2,000 Oregonians that has helped them understand the key areas of concern related to risk classification. 

“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,” he said. 

Mukumoto said ODF’s partner agencies are working to collect input as they develop the new codes for defensible space and address concerns related to homeowners’ insurance. 

“We have a window of opportunity before the new codes go into effect to take some immediate steps toward addressing those concerns, and we will be taking full advantage of the opportunity,” he said. 

Along with the removal of the map, Mukumoto said ODF is withdrawing the notices it sent to property owners. 

The current appeals process will end and any appeals filed will “become moot.” 

Mukumoto said the decision does not impact the code development and adoption process currently underway through the Office of the State Fire Marshal for defensible space or the Building Codes Division for home hardening.

He said that while the agencies met the deadline for delivering on the map, there wasn’t enough time to allow for the type of local outreach and engagement that people deserved. 

After the next round of revisions, the state plans to bring a draft of the updated map to communities for discussion and input. 

Another round of revisions will follow and then the map will be finalized and will once again be posted on the Oregon Explorer and new notices will be issued to property owners. 

“We know how important it is to get this right, and we’re fully committed to continuing to work with the Governor’s Office, legislators, our partner agencies, local governments, and Oregonians to do just that,” Mukumoto said.