Community & Business Services

Planning & Development Services

County Wildfire Protection Plan

The Community Wildfire Protection Plan, CWPP, provides details on the risks, hazards, and valuable facilities to protect in case of a wildfire.  Harney County received grant monies from the US Department of the Interior (BLM administered) to conduct this planning effort.  Review the materials and see how this effort might help your property here in the County.

Wildfire ProtectionCommunity Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)

The revised Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is now complete with a variety of end results and real-life actions to be developed to enhance the lives of our residents.

County Burn Plan and Burn Permit. This Burn Plan is required prior to issuing a Burning Permit for all burning in Harney County. Exception: Small debris piles and burn barrels, within reach of an attached and charged garden hose, do not need a Burn Plan but still need a burning permit issued by the County. This Burn Plan is designed to assist the landowner in safely using fire to meet their land management objectives and reduce the threat to life and property. Landowner must notify Harney County Dispatch, 541-573-6028, prior to burning, on day of burning.

Visit the National CWPP website for Harney County.  Watch a great video on the goals of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and other materials. 

Would you like to be apart of the ongoing effort to plan for fire projects in Harney County?  Contact us... Wildfire Protection

Brandon M. McMullen, Planning Director
450 N. Buena Vista #11
Burns, OR 97720
Phone: 541-573-6655
FAX: 541-573-8387
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Harney County CWPP is now updated (as of August 2013).  Follow the links on this page to view the document.  If you would like our office to send you a copy of the FINAL report (hard copy) please contact the Harney County Planning Department via the contact information listed above.    Thank You! 

Walsh Environmental conducted this planning process.  Regular meetings were  held to review assessments and receive input from those that have the most experience with fire in the County.

The minimum requirements for a CWPP as described in the HFRA are:
  1. Collaboration: A CWPP must be collaboratively developed by local and state government representatives, in consultation with federal agencies and other interested parties. Prioritized Fuel Reduction: A CWPP must identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and recommend the types and methods of treatment that will protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure.
  2. Treatment of Structural Ignitiability: A CWPP must recommend measures that homeowners and communities can take to reduce the ignitability of structures throughout the area addressed by the plan.

Fire Wise Brochure

Get the "Fire Wise" Brochure and other valuable materials from the National program website....


Handouts That Help Prepare for Fire




Fire Approach

Fire Prevention

Fire Preparation

Planning Commission

ORS 215.020-.030 outlines the authority and various guidelines for a Planning Commission.  


Term Expires


Tony Sanchez 6-30-2019


Vern Brown 6-30-2020

Airport/Harney Valley

Barbara Arnold 6-30-2019


Rob Frank 6-30-2020


David Arntz-Chair 6-30-2017


Leon Nueschwander 6-30-2018


Wayne Evans 6-30-2018


The Planning Commission meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Planning Commission Agendas:

The Oregon Revised Statutes that deal primarily with Planning Issues are ORS 92, 197, 215, etc.

The State-Wide Planning Goals are the driving force behind Oregon's Land Use Laws.

The Oregon Administrative Rules provides greater direction as the Oregon Revised Statues are taken and put into a more usable format.

Building Permits

Why do I need a Building Permit?

The term "Building Permit" includes all permits that are involved in the building process (i.e. electrical, manufactured home placement, mechanical, plumbing and structural).  Consumers and Contractors should understand the value that building permits play in developing a property.

Why would I want Building Permits?

Building Permits provide protection for the consumer when building or renovation occurs on the property.  What sort of protection you ask?  There are many ways:

  • Solve problems before they happen.
    • The construction will be done by someone, either the property owner or a licensed contractor.  In any case, there are times when the project may run into difficulties.  Inspection of construction should catch these problems before it occurs.  Plan Review will happen to ensure that the building plans meet Building Code standards.  Inspections are meant to review the work before and after it is performed.  Thus, the building permit will be a way to have the project run smoother and with less problems during and after the construction process.  Having to redo features of the project because of error can cost a lot of  time and money.  DOING IT RIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE WILL SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN!
  • A non-biased building expert can review the work of a contractor.
    • As a consumer, many have never built a home or renovated a property before and will not know of the ins an outs of construction.  And really, that is why one would hire a contractor to do the work.  And because there may be a lack of experience and knowledge by the property owner, he or she would be well served to have a non-biased review of the contractor's work.  The Inspectors will serve as a non-biased reviewer of the work performed.  Actually, they are working for the property owner.  The building permit fee that is paid brings them on the job as the inspector to ensure the work is done to Building Code standards.  Of course, the Inspector will not be on the job daily or act as a General Contractor would , but they can review the various stages of the project when called to inspect.  THE CONSUMER NEEDS AN EXPERT TO REVIEW THE PROJECT.
  • The Inspectors can serve as a sounding board with vital knowledge of Building Code standards.
    • If the work is being completed by the property owner him or herself, the Inspectors can be a great source of assistance when working through the construction process.  The property owner can ask questions and meet with the Inspectors either on the phone or when they are here in the office.  They can provide some of the options that are allowed in the Building Code standards as they relate to your project.
  • Liability is spread out.
    • If there are times when the project receives building permits and still has difficulties then the Inspectors can be called in to review their inspection/field notes and observations.  They will either support the consumer in that the contractor failed to build the structure per the building plans that were approved or that the construction was completed correctly  and that the problems that  were experienced could not be prevented.  Either way, an expert can testify as to what they determine as the errors that may have occurred.  The Inspectors have many years of construction experience that will aid in reviewing the building process.

Onsite Septic Program

Howard Palmer,
Residential Building Inspector
Phone: 541-573-8174
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brett Thomas, GIS/Building Program Tech
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Warren Farham, County Onsite Specialist

Onsite Septic System Forms

To obtain the needed applications and installation guides for septic tank installation or site evaluation, please visit the office to obtain a copy or have one emailed to you by calling 541-573-8174.

Inspections/Site Visits:

  • The inspection schedule will be available 45 days prior each date. During the winter/fall months inspections and site visits will be conducted once a month. During the spring/summer months inspections may be scheduled twice monthly.
  • The next scheduled inspection date is 6/3/2011. Please call 541-573-8174 to schedule an inspection or site visit from the County Onsite Specialist.

Building Permits

When Do I need a building permit?

The often asked question is "When do I need a building permit?"  This is a great question and if there are uncertainties call the Inspectors and they can provide further insights.  Beyond this, there are some standards that can answer most any question about whether or not a permit is required. 

Building Permits-Commercial

Building Permits-Residential