Sen. Wyden introduces bill for wildfire prevention amid pandemic

MEDFORD, Ore. — With hotter, drier weather fast approaching, lawmakers say it’s going to be a challenging few months for Oregon firefighters.

Especially when you factor in the health concerns of the pandemic.

On Monday, Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden introduced new legislation he believes will increase wildfire prevention and preparedness, while creating jobs in Oregon’s woods, farms, and waters.

The bill includes providing 3.5 billion dollars for the U.S. Forest Service and 2 billion dollars for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to increase the pace and scale of hazardous fuels reduction and thinning efforts.

It also gives 9 billion for qualified land and conservation corps to increase job training and hiring and 10 billion for on-farm water conservation and habitat improvement projects.

“What we are looking at is an ominous intersection of a pandemic and fire season,” said Senator Wyden. “And it’s not as of now looking like it’s going to be an easy fire season.”

Senator Wyden says he’s also been working with agencies to discuss how fire camps can be made safer due to the density of people and close quarters.

That includes social distancing and cleanliness practices.

Click here to read more about the bill and what the senator is proposing.

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