Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed news that the U.S. Forest Service is awarding contracts to Oregon companies in Merlin, Redmond, Salem, Ashland, Philomath, Merrill, Sutherlin and Independence to provide crews to fight wildland fires.
“Fighting wildfires and protecting lives, homes and small businesses in Oregon and nationwide demand trained crews that can respond quickly and reliably,” Wyden said. “I’m pleased the Forest Service has recognized these Oregon companies can provide these essential and courageous workers who can defend communities from the devastation that wildfires can unleash.”
“I am grateful for the courage and expertise of our firefighters whose tireless commitment to protecting our communities has saved countless lives and livelihoods,” said Merkley. “The contracts awarded by the Forest Service will help ensure our firefighting teams continue to receive the tools, training, and support they need to keep them safe and equipped during their dangerous work and to continue protecting Oregonians across the state.”
The Forest Service contracts are up to – and not to exceed – the following amounts over a period of five years to these Oregon providers of qualified wildland firefighter crews:
- $180 million to Grayback Forestry, LLC in Merlin
- $160 million to PatRick Environmental, Inc. in Redmond
- $60 million to North Pacific Forestry, Inc. in Salem
- $60 million to Pacific Oasis, Inc. in Ashland
- $60 million to Miller Timber Services, Inc. in Philomath
- $40 million to Lost River Fire Management Service, INC. in Merrill
- $40 million to Diamond Fire in Sutherlin
- $40 million to A.S.I. Arden Solutions, Inc. in Independence
“Businesses that contract with the Forest Service to fight fires are a critical part of our infrastructure in terms of response. They have long-proved their dependability, their readiness, and their rapid deployment when emergencies arise,” said George Murdock, Association of Oregon Counties president and Umatilla County Commissioner. “Both Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley are leaders in the mission to fight fires, reduce the risk of wildfires, and provide for the safety of firefighters. They clearly understand the need for thoughtful and comprehensive planning at every level and I appreciate their efforts.”
“These Forest Service contracts earned by these businesses in our state reflect the companies’ dependability, and can help reassure Oregonians that firefighters are at the ready when wildfires strike,” said Melissa Cribbins, immediate past Association of Oregon Counties president and Coos County Commissioner. “Fighting wildfires demands a comprehensive plan of attack and I thank Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley for their efforts both to fight fires and to reduce the risk of wildfires.”
A web version of this release is here.