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