Statewide, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
has awarded $1.3M in grant funding to 20 organizations and county and tribal governments across the state to work on projects related to smoke management. The 2022 Smoke Management Grants
were made available as part of Senate Bill 762 (2021)
, which promotes wildfire preparedness by creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective wildfire and smoke responses and increasing the resiliency of Oregon’s landscape.
Grants support projects that create alternatives to outdoor burning of yard debris or slash, enhance tribes’ smoke preparedness, develop Community Response Plans and implement previously finalized CRP plans.
“Every year in Oregon, we are seeing an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires and the damaging effects smoke has on our health,” said Michael Orman, air planning program manager, Oregon DEQ. “This one-time funding will go a long way in helping to reduce the impact poor air quality has on communities, including many who already have respiratory illnesses and are sensitive to smoky conditions.”
Grant recipients are tribes, local municipalities, counties, forest collaboratives and private businesses. Projects include:
- Developing Community Response Plans to prepare for and respond to potential smoke impacts
- Implementing previously developed Community Response Plans
- Creating community clean air spaces, including distribution of HEPA filtration to community members for in-home use
- Integrating smoke notifications into existing alert systems
- Promoting fuels reduction through creation of defensible spaces and converting logging slash and other woody debris to chips or firewood
- Purchasing of a masticator to reduce the cost for small woodlot owners who decrease fuels on their property
- Using an air curtain incinerator
to address wood waste from orchard trimming
Grant recipients will conduct projects in the following counties: Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill. For a full list of grant recipients and project titles, visit https://go.usa.gov/xumnN.
Smoke from wildfire and prescribed burns has the potential to harm Oregonian’s air and quality of life. Through continued work by DEQ and community partners, Oregon can better prepare to respond to smoke impacts and reduce wildfire risk. For updates on smoke and wildfires in Oregon, visit https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.
For details on prescribed burning on forestlands, go to https://go.usa.gov/xumUE.
About the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.
Harry Esteve, communications manager, Harry.Esteve@deq.oregon.gov