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Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Code


Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Code (R327.4)
The City of Ashland Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Code goes into effect on October 1, 2021.

Beginning October 1, the Wildfire Mitigation Plan Submittal Form will need to be submitted for all new residential structures along with the building permit application so that staff can verify the new requirements have been met.
The Building Division will be holding an informal Q&A Zoom Session on Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM. Staff will provide an overview of the code requirements and answer any questions builders and homeowners may have. Please click on the link below to participate.  
 
Wildfire Mitigation Requirements Q&A
Thursday, September 30, 2021 @ 3:00 PM

https://zoom.us/j/96222303966
 

The City of Ashland adopted ORSC Section R327.4, which implements best practices for building ignition-resistant homes within the City of Ashland, on June 1, 2021.

Click Here to view City of Ashland Ordinance #3198
 

Background:
In 2018, the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) engaged stakeholders from the fire service, local government, and homebuilders to develop wildfire mitigation code standards that have a consistent and predictable application. The City of Ashland participated in this process at the state level and in January 2019, BCD amended Oregon Residential Specialty Code section R327 (Wildfire Hazard Mitigation) and made it available for local adoption.

The City of Ashland has a comprehensive approach to addressing the threat and potential consequences of wildfire, including public education, a city-wide wildfire hazard zone designation, comprehensive vegetation/fuels management, and individual neighborhood FireWise certifications. The final piece of the City’s Fire Adapted Strategy is to adopt Wildfire Mitigation Building Code R327.4 as permitted by the State of Oregon.

The intent of R327.4 is to provide minimum standards that reduce or eliminate ignition potential of new homes built within wildfire hazard zones. This is accomplished using exterior products that resist ignition and protect specific vulnerable areas including rain gutters, roofing, ventilation, exterior walls, and eaves from ember ignition threat.
 
The 2020 Almeda Fire caused significant destruction to the Rogue Valley. Building and fire departments have a responsibility to their communities to ensure that new and existing structures in wildfire hazard areas are protected against wildfires. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through adoption and enforcement of building codes and standards that aim to reduce the potential ignition of homes through the use of ignition-resistant building materials, screens to prevent embers from penetrating into eaves and under foundations, and creating and maintaining defensible space around structures within the community. The City of Medford recently embraced a similar effort and implemented R327.4 within their jurisdiction in October 2019.  
Additional Information:
Meeting Information:

•  September 30, 2021 - Community Stakeholder Q&A Meeting
    3:00 PM

•  June 1, 2021 - City Council Meeting
   6:00 PM

•  May 18, 2021 - City Council Meeting 
   6:00 PM

•  March 15, 2021 - City Council Study Session
   5:30 PM

•  February 18, 2021 - Community Stakeholder Virtual Meeting
   1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Questions?

Bill Molnar, Director of Community Development
bill.molnar@ashland.or.us / 541.552.2042 
541.552.2042
 
Steven Matiaco, Ashland Building Official
steven.matiaco@ashland.or.us / 541.552.2077
 
Ralph Sartain, Ashland Interim Fire Chief
ralph.sartain@ashland.or.us / 541.552.2229
 
April Lucas, Development Services Coordinator
april.lucas@ashland.or.us / 541.552.2041
 

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