Monday, October 25, 2021

Oregon Has A New Plan To Protect Homes From Wildfire. Homebuilders Are Pushing Back

The green metal roof on Mary Bradshaw’s house gleams amid scorched earth and dead, blackened trees. All of the surrounding homes burned in last year’s Beachie Creek Fire in Oregon’s Santiam Canyon, but hers was untouched.

“We were shocked,” Bradshaw said. “Having seen what the fire did, we really didn’t expect it to be standing.”

It’s a shining example of how home-hardening measures can prevent houses from burning, even when they’re surrounded by fire. Bradshaw and her husband built their home with concrete siding, a cement porch, no gutters or air vents on the metal roof, and no vegetation near the house. Those are all key fireproofing measures that experts recommend.

“We built it with fire in mind, although we never thought we would have a fire,” Bradshaw said.

Oregon leaders are hoping some of these measures will help save homes from burning in future wildfires as summers in the West get hotter, drier and more fire-prone. But they have been the most controversial part of a sweeping new wildfire protection plan, facing pushback from property owners, and homebuilding and agricultural industries.

In a compromise of sorts, those groups, along with others, will now spend the next year advising state agencies on how to map out the state’s most fire-prone areas and determine where the home-hardening rules will be required. See the full article


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