Jefferson County Fuels Reduction Program
2023 Defensible space grant program for landowners
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, in a collaborative effort with the Jefferson County Fire Chiefs, is offering private landowners the opportunity to apply for funding in an effort to minimize fire danger as outlined in the Jefferson County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Residents that are eligible will be offered a flat rate reimbursement of $500 for treating the land around their home to Firewise standards.
The goal of Firewise is to minimize fire danger in subdivisions and neighborhoods and make firefighting safer and more effective. Information on Firewise and how to prepared your home for wildfire can be found on the National Fire Protection Association website here: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire. Fire chiefs will be responsible for assuring that the standards have been met prior to dispensing funds. The Fire Officials are trained evaluators of the Firewise standards and will assess and certify properties as requested. The overall goal of this project is to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire to homes in high risk areas by reducing hazardous fuels on private lands.
Applications will open February 15th and will be approved on a first come, first served basis. You must work with your fire district to ensure your project is eligible and funds are available. Applications must be submitted by September 1, 2023 and all grant projects must be completed by October 1, 2023 and approved as complete by your local fire officials by October 31, 2023. To learn more about eligibility and view the application, contact your local fire protection district or Sommers Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can access and download the application here: Application will be posted here on February 15th
Am I eligible?
In order to be eligible for the program, the landowner must meet the following criteria:
- The land owner must a) own a dwelling on their property (this does not include sheds, pole barns and other non-habitable buildings); b) own property in a “high density or extreme high-density Wildland Urban Interface”, otherwise referred to as WUI in the 2016 Community Wildfire Protection Plan; and c) complete the project by 10/1/2023 and Fire Official inspection and sign off complete by 10/31/2023. The eligible communities are listed below.
- The homeowner must schedule a pre-application meeting with their local fire district prior to submitting an application. The application must be approved by your district’s Fire Official prior to the area being treated.
- If application is approved, the homeowner must be able to complete the work by October 1, 2023. The homeowner is responsible for notifying the fire district when the work has been completed so that officials may come look at the site and sign off on the work prior to the homeowner being compensated.
- Homeowner must submit an application with a minimum of three (3) pictures of the area they would like to treat prior to the application being approved (grant cannot be used retroactively to application).
Eligible at risk communities include the following:
- Camp Sherman
- Crooked River Ranch
- Grandview Air Park, Rim Park and Forest Park)
- High Chaparral
- Juniper Butte
- Juniper Crest
- Madras Ranchos/Canyon View
- Round Butte
- Shamrock Estates
- Street Creek/Upper Metolius/Montgomery Shores
- Three Rivers
Q: Can I apply for work I’ve done on my property already?
A: No. The grant cannot be used on work already completed. The goal is to work with your local experts to co-develop and plan a defensible space project. This ensures the project meets Firewise standards, and allows the landowner to learn from the process ways to keep their property safe.
Q: What costs are reimbursable?
A: Any costs accrued to accomplish the work is reimbursable. That could be hiring a contractor or crew to come remove fuels, debris disposal costs, etc.
Q: Do I need to hire someone to do the work to qualify for the reimbursement?
A: No. You can still receive reimbursement if you complete the work yourself. Often times there will be some costs associated with the work no matter what, and the goal is to help alleviate that cost burden so that more folks can maintain their property!
Q: My property is technically within Deschutes County. Do I still qualify?
A: Unfortunately, no. I would recommend reaching out to Project Wildfire to see what
opportunities are being offered for Deschutes County residents.
Q: Can I reapply each year?
A: No. The goal is to offset the initial cost of fuels reduction to make it easier to manage
over time, and to reach as many folks as possible. Given funds are limited, there is a limit of one application per every 5 years.
For more information contact:
Sommers Taylor, Program Assistant