Wildfire council recommends $4B plan to safeguard state

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The council held its final meeting Thursday

Gov. Kate Brown_376598

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown talks with members of the media to preview legislation for the upcoming session at the Oregon State Capitol, in Salem, Ore., on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A task force created by Gov. Kate Brown says climate change, overstocked forests and understaffed fire teams have placed Oregonians in extreme risk, necessitating a multi-billion-dollar program to safeguard the state from calamity.

The Statesman Journal reports the council held its final meeting Thursday and will submit recommendations to Brown in November. But a look at the council’s preliminary reports indicates they’ll seek billions for fuels treatment and ramping up firefighting capacity.

The draft report proposes big investments including $40 million biennially for next-generation air tankers, helitack personnel and even a fire training center in southwest Oregon.

Some worry the council is focusing too much on wildfire suppression and may invest in the wrong solutions.

Brown said in a statement she knows different tools and additional resources are needed and not simply plays from last century’s playbook.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

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