Walden to FS, BLM: Act to curb wildfire threat

Urges agencies to 'build on lessons learned last year'

By KTVZ.COM news sources
POSTED: 10:23 AM PDT May 23, 2013 
Rep. Greg Walden
WASHINGTON -

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Thursday he has written to the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, outlining his concerns about the upcoming wildfire season in Oregon and stressing the need for the agencies to learn from last year’s historic wildfires.

Walden personally handed the letter to USFS Regional Forester Kent Connaughton Thursday and to BLM Oregon/Washington Director Jerry Perez last week.

Walden will travel to Eastern Oregon later Thursday and will receive further input from citizens about wildfire prevention. Click here for a copy of the letter.

“With over 1.2 million acres of range and forest land burned last year, Oregon experienced some of the worst wildfires in its history.  Affected rural communities struggle to recover as they face drought and the likelihood of yet another active fire season.  I am asking you to build on the lessons learned last year,” Walden wrote in the letter.

He then listed suggestions for a better response from federal agencies he has heard from Oregon communities. These suggestions include:

 

Walden concluded the letter by stressing the need to take action on these recommendations now, before the height of wildfire season.

“With what is likely to be a very active fire season approaching, I trust your federal agencies will consider my thoughts and seek input now and throughout fire session from local communities on improving the effectiveness of fire suppression efforts,” the congressman wrote.