Monday, December 7, 2015

Committee Looks at State's Future Wildfire Suppression Challenges

Oregon experienced a significant increase in wildfires over the past several years. Not only have these fires increased damages and costs to Oregon’s forests, landowners, and local communities but they have stretched the state’s “complete and coordinated fire protection system.”

Seeking ideas to address these challenges, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) initiated a Fire Program Review Committee. This committee is made up of forest landowners, wildland fire professionals, elected officials, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office and other stakeholders to advise ODF in its effort to develop and implement a more sustainable fire organization, including large fire funding solutions.

"This review is an effort to inform our long-term strategic view and facilitate improvement of this highly valued and functioning wildland fire protection system," said Kenneth Cummings, Vice Chair of the committee. The committee will focus its efforts on providing recommendations for the 2016 fire season as well as long-term goals for wildfire management and budget development.

The committee began its work Dec. 1 and formed three working groups to help support the committee’s efforts. The Fire Program Review Committee is scheduled to meet again on Jan. 21 to discuss the working group’s findings, refine key issues, capture additional ideas and provide further guidance. Interested parties are welcome to attend.

Additional information about the committee can be found online at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/FireProgramReview.aspx.

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