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Forestry Department awarded $6.4 million to reduce wildfire hazards
Contact: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has received $6.4 million in federal grants to lessen wildfire hazards on private and state forestlands. They include a $3.9 million project to reduce forest fuels on private lands, and a $2.5 million project for similar work on the state-owned forests. The grants are being provided by the USDA Forest Service through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
ODF will contract out much of the fuel-reduction work to local businesses. The funding will create jobs to thin overly dense tree stands, remove brush, and process the resulting woody material.
$3.9 million for hazardous fuel reduction on private forestlands
$3.9 million for hazardous fuel reduction on private forestlands
Under the $3.9 million ARRA grant, ODF will focus on forested areas in seven Oregon counties at high risk of damaging wildfires.
  • Jackson, Josephine counties – 1,610 acres will be treated to reduce hazardous fuel loading and restore ecosystems to more natural wildfire regimes
  • Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson counties – 893 acres will be treated
  • Linn, Lane counties – 590 acres will be treated
ODF will couple the fuels work with a public awareness campaign to educate homeowners on how they can manage their property and structures to reduce vulnerability to wildfire.
$2.5 million for hazardous fuel reduction on state-owned forestlands
While focused on reducing wildfire hazards on state-owned forestlands, the $2.5 million ARRA grant will also benefit adjacent communities by lessening the risk of a fire spreading to private lands.
  • Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Marion, Linn and Tillamook counties – 3,894 acres of state forestlands will be treated to reduce hazardous fuel loading.
When ODF receives the federal grant dollars, the various projects will be put out to public bid. On-the-ground work could start as early as this fall after wildfire danger has abated.
Once fuel-treatment work begins, it will be possible to calculate the number of jobs created by the ARRA grants.
EDITOR/NEWS DIRECTOR please note: Additional information on the projects described above can be obtained from: Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us.