Wildfire: Oregon to see $6.8M for prevention

Wildfire: Oregon to see $6.8M for prevention

By:  Staff Report

Oregon will receive $6.8 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for wildfire prevention projects on 49,039 acres of land across the state.

The additional funding is intended to help complete fuels treatments on nearly 2 million acres nationwide this fiscal year, a substantial increase over the last year's fiscal year, according to Oregon's U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

"As Oregon's wildfire seasons grow longer and hotter, they are a stark reminder of how important resilient forests are to protecting our communities," Merkley said. "This funding will support new and existing projects intended to help thin Oregon's overgrown forests, support better ecosystems, reduce the threat of severe wildfires, and create more jobs.

"With firefighters still battling blazes throughout our state at the end of September, the need for wildfire prevention work is clearly top priority business for Oregon communities," Wyden said. "This federal investment in forest resiliency will help to achieve that goal of reducing wildfire risks by employing Oregonians to attack the fuels that accelerate these destructive blazes. And I’m going to keep pressing federal agencies to use recent funding increases I worked to include in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the comprehensive strategy needed so urgently to address wildfire prevention and firefighter shortages."

Merkley, as Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and Wyden, as a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, secured the investments in wildland fire management in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The funding is targeted to increase fuels treatment in areas with high wildfire hazard potential, helping to protect homes and businesses in the wildland-urban interface and public drinking water. These efforts will promote climate resiliency across landscapes and communities, and will employ Tribal members, youth, and veterans, Wyden and Merkley said.