Oregon governor shares plans for wildfire season

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek and wildfire management agency leaders provided a briefing in preparation for wildfire season, including precautionary measures the state should take.

“Wildfires will forever impact our region and much of our country. The threats will continue to grow as we grapple with hotter, drier conditions due to climate change,” Governor Kotek said. “But we have choices in how we prepare and respond. We can create fire-adapted communities. We can develop safer and more effective responses to support fire personnel.”

Kotek and leaders from various government agencies addressed several topics.

Kotek said that drought intensity across Oregon is less severe than last year, although some areas face persistent droughts.

“Many regions have experienced a high volume of spring rain and are benefitting from a strong snowpack,” the governor’s office said.

The state will likely experience a delayed wildfire season, “given favorable winter moisture,” according to the governor’s office.

“Wildfire prevention efforts, including public information campaigns, early fire detection, leveraging aviation and ground assets for early deployment for a safe and aggressive initial attack are all key to our success this year,” the release said.

The governor warned that eastern Oregon could face a challenging wildfire season and needs to be prepared, especially in rural areas that depend on volunteer fire services.

“There will also be competition for national resources as the west continues to grapple with more complex fire seasons,” the release said. Oregon will continue to rely on Oregon’s Fire Mutual Aid System, which deploys local fire departments across the state to protect our communities.”

Additionally, the governor’s office said the state has invested in its wildfire protection system, and those investments will continue.

“Leveraging our statewide wildfire coordination system, utilizing technology and advanced firefighting equipment to our advantage, and taking early and aggressive action will be keys to success,” the governor’s office said.

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