PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek on Monday joined U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore, state agency leaders, and members of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, including representatives from PGE, Pacific Power, Avista, and rural electric cooperatives for a roundtable discussion about national strategies that can support local efforts to reduce the catastrophic risk of wildfire.
“Wildfire threatens our natural areas, our homes, and even our lives,” Kotek said. “Today, we committed to expanding our coordination across large and small utilities and federal partners to help ensure that Oregon meets the highest possible standard for wildfire prevention and response.”
The U.S. Forest Service manages over 16 million acres of forestland in Oregon, over half the forestland in the state.
Oregon has established stronger relationships with utilities to mitigate wildfire since the passage of Senate Bill 762 (2021), namely: public safety power shut-offs are now a routine practice in Oregon; wildfire mitigation plans are annually submitted to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission for approval; pre-fire season meetings have been established with utilities and first responders on an annual basis; and there is increased shared intelligence between private and public systems to detect wildfire.
“Oregonians have demonstrated a pattern of commitment and ingenuity to protect forestland, wildlife, water, cultural resources, and our economy from the increased risk of wildfires,” said Governor Kotek. “The coordinated efforts of the federal government, state agencies, local community response, and utilities will continue to strengthen Oregon’s wildfire resiliency.”