BEND - A committee designated to identify urban fringe areas at risk from wildfire will hold its first meeting 1 p.m. Monday, March 10, at the Deschutes County Community Development Department, 117 N.W. Lafayette St., in Bend. The public is invited to attend.

The Deschutes County Forestland-Urban Interface Classification Committee will learn its duties under the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act of 1997. The act aims to create a cooperative partnership among property owners, local citizens, government leaders and fire protection agencies to address the growing risk to life and property posed by wildfire.

Statewide in 2002, 25 homes and dozens of outbuildings burned during the record-breaking wildfire season. The "forestland-urban interface" between urban and suburban areas and resource lands has pressured existing fire protection systems beyond their capability, experts say.

Meeting attendees are advised to enter the Deschutes County Community Development Department off of Hill St. at the south ending of the building.

More information about the Deschutes County Forestland-Urban Interface Classification Committee meeting can be obtained by contacting Rick Gibson, Oregon Department of Forestry, (503) 945-7440,

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