Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan
Recent fires in Oregon and across the western United States have increased public awareness to the potential losses to life, property, and natural and cultural resources. In 2002, Josephine County became intimately aware of these risks as the Biscuit Fire burned over 470,000 acres in Josephine and Curry Counties. The County activated the Josephine County Emergency Operations Center when the fire threatened over 3,400 homes and put thousands of residents on evacuation notice. Costs from the fire have exceeded $150 million and have ultimately raised awareness among public agencies, community organizations and individuals about the extreme risk they face from wildfire.
In August 2003, the Josephine County Board of County Commissioners directed the County Departments to work with state and federal agencies, rural fire protection districts and community organizations throughout the County to develop an integrated fire plan. The County initiated this effort to reduce wildfire risk to citizens, the environment, and quality of life within Josephine County. The County contracted with the Program for Watershed and Community Health, an organization affiliated with the University of Oregon’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment to facilitate the development of the plan.
In November 2004, the Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan (JCIFP) was published. The JCIFP provides a foundation and resources for understanding wildfire risk and opportunities to reduce potential losses from wildfire. The JCIFP is a county-level plan, and complements community-specific plans such as those developed in the Applegate, Illinois Valley and Wolf Creek.
Since 2004, a tremendous amount of work has been done in the areas of interagency coordination, assessing wildfire risk, public outreach and education, and in coordinating emergency management needs for vulnerable populations. The JCIFP is updated annually. A full re-write of the plan is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2016.
Agreement with Federal Land Management Agencies to collaborate on fire planning
2004 Josephine County Integrated Fire Plan