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Oregon Department of Forestry awards $5 million in grants to landowners for wildfire resiliency

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High Cascades prescribed burns.jpg

File photo of prescribed burns in the High Cascades Ranger District (Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest photo).

The grants were authorized by Senate Bill 762, and are awarded to owners of small forestlands so they can reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire by reducing hazardous fuels.

SALEM, Ore. — Communities throughout Oregon will receive $5 million in funding so that they can work toward protecting themselves from wildfire, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced Monday.

The grants were authorized by Senate Bill 762, and are awarded to owners of small forestlands so they can reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire by reducing hazardous fuels.

About $4.2 million went to 23 different proposals, involving over 600 landowners and treating nearly 4,000 acres in Oregon.

Another $800,000 went to 20 active "Firewise USA" communities that are in good standing and outside of urban-growth boundaries. Individual awards were up to $75,000 per community, targeting more than 2,000 acres through a mixture of treatment approaches.

SCOFMP prescribed burn

File photo of a prescribed burn from the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) / Facebook

Among the recipients were 20 Firewise communities in Jackson and Josephine counties, the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration CollaborativeJackson Soil & Water Conservation District in the Wagner Creek and South Obenchain areas, Jackson County Fire District 3Klamath Soil & Water Conservation District, and a private residential property in Ashland positioned on steep terrain.

ODF said that SB 762 is a comprehensive bill passed with bipartisan support that provides more than $200 million to help Oregon modernize and improve wildfire preparedness through three key strategies: creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective response, and increasing the resiliency of Oregon's landscapes.

"The bill is the product of years of hard work by many Oregonians, the Governor's Council on Wildfire Response, the Legislature, and state agencies," the agency concluded.

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