It may be cold with snow on the ground, but the U.S. Forest Service is already looking to the fire season ahead.  Oregon’s ongoing drought, more frequent heatwaves and less rain and snow, mean longer and more intense fire seasons.


“The hot summers, really the unpredictable lightning and wind storms, and the overcrowded forests littered with dead and dying trees, branches and fallen trees; and we’re really setting up that perfect storm around conditions for wildfire.”


Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa said more prevention efforts, such as salvaging dead trees and reducing hazardous fuels are now underway, thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.


“Our Secretary of Agriculture [Tom Vilsack] has determined that clearly an emergency exists. That the wildfire crisis we face is really something that needs to be addressed; and it needs to be addressed now.”


The Forest Service has identified several locations across Oregon as priority landscapes for additional funding and resources over the next decade.  That includes the Mt. Hood National Forest, Deschutes National Forest and the Klamath Basin.


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