PORTLAND — Governor Kate Brown today launched Oregon’s Wildfire Response Council, which met for the first time in Portland. The Council is tasked to review Oregon’s current model for wildfire prevention, preparedness, and response, analyzing whether or not the current model is sustainable given our increasing wildfire risks in the face of changes in climate.
“Every fire season since I first became Governor has been a historic fire season, and each season, we’ve seen unprecedented damage to our homes, livelihoods, and Oregon’s natural environment,” said Governor Brown. “We need to be prepared and proactive to get ahead of this threat, which is why I have convened this council on wildfire response. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can, employing best practices, and investing in new tools, technology, and people power.”
The kickoff meeting was focused on defining the threat and setting goals alongside federal partners, including Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Vicki Christiansen and Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jim Hubbard. The Council will have three subcommittees focused on mitigation, suppression, and recovery. The Council and its subcommittees will bring together experts whose work has environmental, health, and economic intersections with wildfire.
The Council has been asked to develop recommendations to strengthen, improve, or replace existing systems, and to implement its findings. The recommendations will be presented to the Governor by September 30, 2019.