STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Merkley urges action to prepare for wildfire season in Oregon

Senator Jeff Merkley is working on reducing the severity of wildfires.

Posted: May 16, 2019 12:28 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Wildfire season is approaching, and Senator Jeff Merkley says the Forest Service isn’t as prepared as it should be.

Merkley spoke at the Department of the Interior’s hearing in Washington, D.C. He’s pushing them to use $600 million in savings to treat forests before wildfires strike.

“They are adjusting,” Merkley said. “We just don’t know if they’re adjusting fast enough. The fire season has gotten so much longer here. We are already with major fires having been burning in Oregon, and it’s the month of May. And it used to be fire season started in July”

The senator hopes increasing thinning and controlled burns will help the Forest Service prepare for fires happening earlier in the year.

He’s also been working on getting the National Guard trained to fight wildfires. Several hundred National Guard members have already been trained, and another 130 will be trained by July, Merkley said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4474

Reported Deaths: 159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah122462
Marion101126
Washington75518
Clackamas33312
Deschutes1330
Umatilla1243
Linn1219
Polk10012
Lane803
Yamhill757
Jackson690
Benton575
Jefferson460
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos320
Wasco291
Douglas280
Hood River280
Lincoln230
Josephine231
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Crook70
Union60
Tillamook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 67°
Corvallis
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 60°
Roseburg
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
North Bend
Broken Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events