New Grant Program to Help Fire Hardening of Homes, Businesses Damaged in 2020 Wildfires

Posted on July 11, 2022

(Salem) – The Oregon Building Codes Division is partnering with eight counties on a grant program to help owners of homes and businesses rebuild after the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

People who own a home – including a manufactured home – or business that was damaged or destroyed by the 2020 wildfires can receive money for using more fire-resistant methods and materials when they rebuild. Those who have already rebuilt also qualify.

Fire hardening is an important tool to help make homes more resistant to fire. Fire hardening includes actions that can be taken to make a home or business more resistant to damage from a wildfire, such as using materials for siding and roofing that resist ignition during a wildfire, installing fire-resistant windows to protect openings, or using attic ventilation devices that help reduce ember intrusion.

“These improvements are particularly effective at preventing ignition from embers, which can travel great distances from wildfires,” said Alana Cox, administrator of the Oregon Building Codes Division. “We hope this program will help people affected by the wildfires build back more fire-resistant communities.”

The counties involved in the program are Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion. To learn more and apply, visit https://www.oregon.gov/bcd/Pages/firehardening.aspx.

To qualify for the program, a person must own a home or business that was damaged or destroyed in the 2020 Oregon wildfires. See the table below for a menu of fire hardening improvements, including more fire-resistant roofs, siding, and windows, that qualify for grant money. Eligible applicants can receive grant money through their county building department after completing one or more qualifying improvements.

The following improvements will be incentivized by the program and the listed incentive amounts will be disbursed to eligible applicants once they complete qualifying fire hardening improvements.

ELEMENT OPTIONS GRANT AMOUNT
Roofing Class B or Class A $2,200
External wall covering Must be constructed from one of the following:

  • Noncombustible
  • Ignition-resistant
  • Heavy timber assembly
  • Log wall assembly
$1,750
Ventilation Options:

  1. Vents designed to resist ember and flame intrusion
  2. Unvented attic assembly
$350
Overhangs, cantilevers, and projections Underside of eaves, soffits, cantilevers, etc., protected by one of the following:

  • Noncombustible material
  • Ignition-resistant material
  • Exterior portion of 1-hour wall assembly
  • 1 layer of 5 /8-inch Type X exterior gypsum sheathing or equivalent
$400
Walking surfaces of porches, balconies, and decks Must be constructed from one of the following:

  • Noncombustible
  • Ignition resistant
  • Exterior fire-retardant treated wood
  • Materials meeting ASTM E2632
$550
Windows and skylights Protected by one of the following:

  • Tempered glass
  • 20-minute fire-resistance-rated assembly
$550
Skirting (manufactured homes only) Made from one of the following skirting materials:

  • Noncombustible
  • Ignition resistant
$500
Accessory structures within 50 feet of a residential or commercial building Improve the structure with both the roofing and the exterior wall covering elements above.

 

Up to two structures are eligible for the grant.

$500 per structure; $1,000 maximum

 

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The Building Codes Division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit oregon.gov/bcd and dcbs.oregon.gov.

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