June 04, 2018

Wyden Presses Forest Service on Wildfire Policy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today asked the U.S. Forest Service to explain its changes to use of air tankers during wildfires and to detail what safeguards exist to ensure a quick and effective response to those blazes.

Wyden’s letter to Interim U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen comes after the Forest Service announced contracting changes to its use of air tankers and the concerns Wyden has heard about that change from Oregonians at his town halls and meetings across the state.

“The Forest Service has taken great steps to address emergency preparedness when it comes to fighting wildfires, including development of the Predictive Services program which helps to anticipate major fires and determine the best allocation of resources.” Wyden wrote. “With changes in your approach to air tanker contracting, what steps are you taking to ensure the agency is adequately prepared to respond quickly and effectively to wildfires once they strike?”

The letter comes after an unusually dry and warm May in the Northwest.

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