Bend's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) planning process is taking shape. Last Thursday, all members of the Technical Advisory Committees participated in a Workshop to develop scenarios for how Bend's city limits might be expanded.
There was one important thing missing in this planning scenario: an assessment of wildfire risk.
Committee members worked off of a composite map that included more than twenty different factors to "rate" the lands surrounding the City for suitability for inclusion inside the City's boundary (you can find these maps here starting on page 36).
Despite the increased risk to life and property when building in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), the committee voted to exclude the map that showed wildfire risk.
Currently, there are proposals to put thousands of homes into the forest on the westside of Bend. Our community needs to take a hard look at whether we want to assume the risk of building into the wildland urban interface (WUI).
Read more about the increasing costs and tragedies of wildfire here.