Wednesday, March 22, 2023

By:  Tiffany Eckert


Douglas Electric Cooperative has been awarded over $9 million in federal funding to boost mitigation efforts in high-risk wildfire areas.

The money will enable the utility to address hazard trees and reduce fuel buildup in its right-of-way. The work is meant to minimize the likelihood that the DEC power distribution system becomes the origin or contributing source of a fire.

The wildfire fuel reduction project will be conducted along 1,275 miles of DEC power lines.

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced the award Wednesday as part of a $23.5 million investment in wildfire resiliency projects across the state.

The funding is part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The 10 Oregon projects selected for the first round of funding are:

  • Grant Soil & Water Conservation District, Grant County Evacuation Corridor and Fuels Management Project: $9,907,344
  • Douglas Electric Cooperative Fuels Treatments, Vegetation Management, and Other Mitigation: $9,151,505
  • Curry County Soil and Water Conservation District, Gorse Fuels Treatment to Reduce Catastrophic Wildfire: $1,338,078
  • Wheeler County of Emergency Management, Wheeler County fire protection roadway shoulder clearing: $992,815
  • Oregon Department of Forestry, John Day; Grant County Defensible Space: $681,041
  • Klamath Watershed Partnership, Chiloquin Wildfire Risk Reduction and Education: $616,404
  • City of Ashland, Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update: $249,700
  • Baker County Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update: $246,000
  • Rocky Point Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Rocky Point Urban Interface Community Wildfire Protection Plan: $224,717
  • Illinois Valley Soil & Water Conservation District, Community Action for Wildfire Resiliency Project: $113,744