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Bipartisan group of legislators advocate maximum wildfire preparedness

July 20, 2021
In The News

A group of Oregon lawmakers led by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is encouraging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make efforts to maximize wildfire preparedness initiatives. Merkley and DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees FEMA, have joined U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR) in forwarding correspondence to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell regarding the matter. “As you know, Oregon, and the rest of the West, experienced an unprecedented and destructive wildfire season in 2020,” the legislators wrote. “Over 50,000 fires burned 10 million acres, with fires lasting well into the fall. As we approach another potentially catastrophic wildfire season, many Oregonians continue to struggle to return to the pre-disaster state of normal. The approval of the long-awaited cost-share adjustment for the 2020 wildfire season is critical to our recovery efforts, and we thank you for that.”