New Bill Gives Oregon $220 Million To Fight Wildfires

On July 30, Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill aimed at increasing Oregon’s wildfire preparedness. The state is currently facing drought and double the number of wildfires from last year’s season. There are sixteen fires still burning in Oregon and Washington, including the Bootleg Fire, the largest wildfire in the US.

The bill allocates $220 million to the state in order to, in Gov. Brown’s words, “[create] fire- adapted communities, [develop] safe and effective responses, and [increase] the resiliency of Oregon’s landscapes.”

Gov. Brown visited the people currently fighting the Bootleg Fire, which has grown large enough that it is effectively creating its own weather system. Not only is this fire larger than any in the past, but it is also burning quicker and hotter.

Earlier on July 30, Gov. Brown, along with six other governors, held a virtual roundtable with President Biden to discuss climate change and the wildfire season. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington noted that President Biden’s plan on cutting carbon emissions was a good step towards combating climate change, but he fears it won’t clear Congress.

That decision will decide whether our forests survive into the next century, according to Gov. Inslee.

By Jalen Todd