Benton County, Oregon

Making Benton County a Better Place to Live
Printed on Aug 27, 2015 @ 2:20 PM

Benton County Forestland Classification Project

Wildfire Protection in Benton County

1500 Road FireThe Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is responsible for protecting public and private forestland from fire, including millions of acres in the Wildland-Urban Interface where houses and other structures lie within the reach of wildfire. ODF's West Oregon Forest Protection District provides that protection in Benton, Lincoln, and Polk Counties as well as portions of Yamhill and Tillamook counties (view interactive map).

Forestlands in the Benton County portion of the West Oregon Forest Protection District have been part of the Department of Forestry's protection responsibility for many decades; however a formal classification determination for forestland in the District has not been done until now. Forestland Classification determines which lands within the District boundary are protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Classified forestlands are assessed for fire protection through their annual property tax statement to support that service.

The purpose of this website is to provide Benton County residents with information about the current Forestland Classification Review process, timely notice of the next meeting and information and links about fire prevention and protection.

Update: December 8, 2010 – The Secretary of the Benton County Forestland Classification Committee filed a Written Order as required by ORS 526.328 with the Benton County Clerk at 9:00 a.m. on December 8, 2010. This action starts the 30 day appeal period as required by ORS 526.332, which is set to expire at 5:00 p.m. on January 7, 2011.

Forest Classification Review Process

The review is being conducted by a County Forestland Classification Committee, as authorized under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 526, and the West Oregon District of the ODF. (Read more...)

Forestland Classification

Classification of lands as forestland essentially determines where within the District the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has fire protection responsibilities. Lands classified as forestland within the boundary receive protection from ODF, and are assessed for fire protection. (Read more...)

Classification Committee

Per statute, the Benton County Board of Commissioners appointed three committee members, the Director of the Oregon State University Extension Service appointed one member, and ODF appointed one member, for a total of five Board Members. (Read more...)

ODF's Role

The primary mission of the ODF Fire Protection Division is to protect forest resources, second only protecting human lives. However, ODF's forest protection role in the law is not strictly to protect trees. (Read more...)