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Wildfire council recommends $4B plan to safeguard state

September 28, 2019

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A task force created by Gov. Kate Brown says climate change, overstocked forests and understaffed fire teams have placed Oregonians in extreme risk, necessitating a multi-billion-dollar program to safeguard the state from calamity.

The Statesman Journal reports the council held its final meeting Thursday and will submit recommendations to Brown in November. But a look at the council’s preliminary reports indicates they’ll seek billions for fuels treatment and ramping up firefighting capacity.

The draft report proposes big investments including $40 million biennially for next-generation air tankers, helitack personnel and even a fire training center in southwest Oregon.

Some worry the council is focusing too much on wildfire suppression and may invest in the wrong solutions.

Brown said in a statement she knows different tools and additional resources are needed and not simply plays from last century’s playbook.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

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