Pin It

New Development Zone to Help Mitigate Fire Danger 

The Deschutes County Commissioners voted for the new Westside Transect Zone, which will limit development on private land

During its meeting on Jan. 16, the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a new zone on the west side of Bend specifically designed to limit wildfire risk in a new housing development.

click to enlarge Fire activity increases as USDA Forest Service wildland firefighters stand their ground against the 2018 Carr Fire in Redding, Calif. - FLICKR/U.S. FOREST SERVICE/BRENNA JONES
  • Flickr/U.S. Forest Service/Brenna Jones
  • Fire activity increases as USDA Forest Service wildland firefighters stand their ground against the 2018 Carr Fire in Redding, Calif.

The Westside Transect Zone will limit development to a maximum of 187 homes on nearly 700 acres between Bend’s city limits and Tumalo Creek, according to a press release from Central Oregon LandWatch—which advocated for the zone.

The development doesn't have a name yet and no houses are currently being built.

“For over 30 years the wildfire risk to Bend’s west side has been known, but development kept occurring over there,” Paul Dewey, executive director of LandWatch said in the release. “Building out into the ponderosa pine forest to the west is not a good idea, not only because it is a fire-based ecology, but that is from where the summer winds blow directly toward Bend.”

LandWatch said the development, if not for the new zoning, could have seen more than 10 times the number of homes. The new zone attempts to keep the west side from facing the same catastrophic fires that occurred in 2018 in California.

LandWatch said reduced density will save lives and homes due to fewer people to evacuate in case of a wildfire. Also, more space between homes, firewise building codes and landscaping requirements will reduce the risk of rapidly spreading wildfire, which happened during the Camp Fire in California last year that destroyed more than 18,000 structures.

“Now both the City of Bend and Deschutes County have recognized that further development must be limited,” Dewey said. “The recent catastrophic fires at Paradise, Thousand Oaks, Santa Rosa, Ventura and Redding in California, as well as the Two Bulls fire west of Bend, are testaments to that.”

click to enlarge DESCHUTES COUNTY
  • Deschutes County
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletter Signup

Cascades Reader Logo Cascades Reader

Get your daily dose of news for Central Oregon and beyond, delivered to your inbox five days a week. Powered by the Source Weekly.

Latest in Local News

  • Source Weekly Update Podcast 8/22/19

    • Aug 22, 2019
    Planning Effort Affects Southeastern Oregon, Big D.O.L.L.A. by Dame D.O.L.L.A. (Damian Lillard) Comes Out and a Way to Protect Birds from Cats More »
  • More Roundabouts, Sidewalks on the Way

    • Aug 21, 2019
    Murphy Corridor Improvements Project, Alpenglow Community Park, City of Bend, roundabouts, sidewalks, pedestrian bridge, trails, Frogger More »
  • Are You an A-Fibber?

    • Aug 21, 2019
    A local runner and cyclist shares his story of receiving a common heart-related diagnosis More »
  • More »

More by Chris Miller

Readers also liked…

  • Spray: A journey through time

    Spray: A journey through time

    • Mar 8, 2018
  • Flying the Wild West

    Flying the Wild West

    If you want a gauge of how Central Oregon's population is growing—and where the growth and visitors are coming from—look no further than the area's main airport
    • May 30, 2018

© 2019 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation