Wildfires

Wildfires

Know Evacuation Levels

Disasters and emergencies can lead to evacuations. Know the types of evacuation orders that you could experience and make a plan in advance.

"Be Ready" symbol

Level 1: Be Ready

Be aware, prepare and stay informed. This is the time to prepare and be ready to evacuate. Older adults, people with special needs, or mobile property owners should take action early. Consider moving pets and livestock early.

"Be Set" symbol

Level 2: Be Set

Be ready to leave with little notice and relocate to a safe place outside of the affected area. You will have limited time to gather necessary items and it may become unsafe to do so.

"Go!" symbol

Level 3: GO!

Evacuate now! Leave immediately! It is unsafe for you to stay in the area. This will be the last notice you receive until officials declare it is safe to return to the area.

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Protection from Flood Risk after a Wildfire

For several years after a wildfire, residents living in fire-affected areas and nearby communities face an increased risk of flooding and mudflows.

Vegetation normally absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff; however, wildfires leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions vulnerable to flash flooding and mudflow. Flood risk remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored, which could take up to 5 years after a wildfire.

Flooding after fire is often more severe, as debris and ash left from the fire can form mudflows. As rainwater moves across charred and uncovered ground, it can also pick up soil and sediment and carry it in a stream of floodwaters. These mudflows can cause significant damage.

Flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and is backed by the federal government. It can be the difference between recovery and financial devastation. Contact your insurance agent about all options:

  • For homeowners, flood insurance covers damage up to $250,000 and, if you purchase content coverage, up to $100,000 for building contents.
  • For business owners, flood insurance covers damage up to $500,000 for the building and, if you buy content coverage, up to $500,000 for contents.

Visit our Flood Insurance page for more information.

To learn more about your flood risk, insurance options and to find an agent near you, visit the Flood Smart website or call 1-800-427-2419.

FEMA flood information

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The Path to Rebuilding

We know that recovering emotionally and physically from the 2020 Clackamas Wildfires will take time. We've tried to simplify the process of rebuilding your home, business or other structure. We've also provided contact information so you can get one-on-one support if you need it. We'll be here for you all along the way.

The Path to Rebuilding

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Step 6: Move In!

Step 6

After your project is complete and you have approved final inspections for all your permits (Plumbing, Electrical, Septic, Entrance [driveway], Mechanical, Building), you will receive your Certificate of Occupancy and then you may occupy the building.

For more information and assistance, contact your staff liaison in the Building Codes Division or contact Building Codes at 503-742-4240 or bldservice@clackamas.us.

Welcome home!

Family moving into home
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Step 5: Construct and Inspect

Step 5

Inspections are required at various points in the construction process to help ensure the safety of your home. 

  • To schedule an inspection, call the Clackamas County Inspection Request Line at 503-742-4720, any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requests must be on the system before 6 a.m. for an inspection on the same business day. Inspection requests made after 6 a.m. will be scheduled for the following business day.  
  • Inspections can be scheduled online
    • Click the green Schedule box
    • Enter the permit number for the work you want inspected
    • Your inspection is scheduled!
  • For more information and assistance, contact your staff liaison in the Building Codes Division or contact Building Codes at 503-742-4240 or bldservice@clackamas.us.

Next Step...

Step 6: Move In!

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Step 4: Get Your Permits

Step 4

Before applying for building permits…

  • Check your property’s zoning regulations to find out about requirements or restrictions for rebuilding by contacting Clackamas County Planning at 503-742-4500 or zoninginfo@clackamas.us
  • Contact Clackamas County Septic at 503-742-4740 or soilsconcern@clackamas.us to locate the septic system on your property, and check requirements related to rebuilding.
  • Develop your building plans with a licensed design professional or designer.

Clackamas County offers the complete permitting process online, and all our development permits are submitted and processed digitally.  The County provides online all the information, instructions and applications you need to apply and submit permits.  

If you need help with building permits, contact Clackamas County Building Codes at 503-742-4240 or bldservice@clackamas.us

Providing great customer service

Additional Services

If you have lost your primary residence in the fires, additional services are available.

  • One point of contact
    Building Codes will give you one person to work with and help guide you through the entire process of rebuilding – from getting your permits through inspections, all the way to getting that final certificate of occupancy so you can move in.
  • Rapid permitting
    If your primary residence was damaged by the wildfires, your permit application will go to the front of the line when we receive it and will be reviewed and acted on as quickly as possible.
  • Possible eligibility for reduced plan review fees
    If the house you are replacing was built within the last two years and you’d like to replace it with the same house, let us know.  If we still have the building drawings on file, we’ll provide copies to you at no cost, and if you plan to use the same exact plans and building footprint for rebuilding, we will waive plan review fees.
  • Existing foundations
    If you would like to rebuild on your existing foundation, work with a structural engineer to determine if the existing conditions will meet the requirements for the new structure.

To access these services contact Clackamas County Building Codes at 503-742-4240 or bldservice@clackamas.us

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