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Tina Kotek: We Need to Do More to Protect Oregon from Wildfires


Tina Will Build on Recent Investments and Fight Back on Climate Change

[Portland, OR]  Two years ago, Oregonians were reeling from the most destructive wildfire season on record. At least nine people died, more than 4,000 homes were destroyed, and fires tore through over one million acres. 

This year, Oregon faced similar weather conditions, but fire officials were able to respond faster and the damage was not as severe, thanks to legislation that Tina Kotek successfully negotiated in 2021.

But the threats posed by wildfire and smoke will only grow as the West Coast grapples with hotter, drier conditions due to climate change.

“We need to do more to protect Oregon from wildfires,” Tina Kotek, Democratic nominee for Governor said. “I will build on the lessons that emergency managers and fire officials learned on the ground this year, help Oregonians make their homes and businesses more resilient, and keep fighting to reduce emissions and do Oregon’s part to tackle climate change.”

As Governor, Tina will do more to protect Oregon from wildfires by:

  • Modernizing Oregon’s firefighting services: Tina will keep working to build an effective all-hazards, wildland and structural firefighting force by expanding firefighter apprenticeships and supporting youth and workforce training programs like the Oregon Conservation Corps, as well as investing in new equipment and aviation resources.
  • Creating fire-adapted communities: Tina will ensure that the Oregon State Fire Marshal successfully partners with residents, fire districts, fire departments and local governments to establish programs that address wildfire risk reduction, defensible space requirements, response planning, and community preparedness – including support for home hardening. That means the final version of the Wildfire Risk Map must address concerns from property owners, improve the accuracy of risk classification assignments, and document properties and neighborhoods where owners have implemented good wildfire protection strategies.
  • Restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes: Tina will follow the science and make sure that the state is managing its forests and rangelands with appropriate treatments to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire, including thinning areas that are overgrown and employing prescriptive burning to manage underbrush. 
  • Supporting wildfire-impacted communities in long-term recovery: Tina will make sure the state is a long-term partner in the effort to rebuild the homes, businesses, and natural spaces that were devastated by previous wildfire seasons – especially 2020.
  • Pushing for more federal assistance: Tina will push for the federal government to step up with more support to prevent, suppress, and recover from wildfires.

“As a career first responder, I appreciate teamwork, leadership, and knowing someone has your back,” said Rep. Dacia Grayber (D – Tigard), who has been a firefighter for 22 years. “Tina is the only candidate for Governor who will protect our communities from devastating wildfires AND do our part to fight the hotter, drier conditions we face as a result of climate change.”

“From the first days after last year’s horrific wildfire, Speaker Kotek made it clear that she would find the resources we need to rebuild and recover,” said Rep. Pam Marsh (D – Ashland). “Tina understands the existential threats that wildfire and climate tumult pose for our state, and she drove legislation to create a 100% clean electricity standard for the state and to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in fire prevention and suppression efforts. Tina Kotek is a leader in every sense of the word – trustworthy, honest, foresighted, and absolutely devoted to the welfare of all Oregonians.”

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