Sen. Wyden says congress isn't taking fire prevention seriously enough

Sen. Wyden speaks at Eagle Creek Fire news briefing Sept. 8, 2017. (SBG) 

Sen. Ron Wyden is speaking up about the Eagle Creek Fire.

Wyden came to Troutdale Friday morning to speak at the news briefing. He was shocked when he heard how quickly the fire spread through the Gorge, but he also noted how impressed he was with the state.

He referred to something he calls ‘The Oregon Way.’

“It’s Oregonians coming forward and saying we’re going to make sure our friends and neighbors are not in jeopardy, and we are going to stay at it until we finish the job,” Wyden said.

Wyden said he’s seen it in full force over the past week as crews fight the Eagle Creek. Thursday, Sen. Said he and Sen. Jeff Merkley secured funding to help fight the fire, but Wyden said that’s just one part of the fight in Washington, D.C. The other part, he said, is getting congress to take fire prevention seriously.

“These are not your grandfather’s fires, these are mega fires, they’re bigger and they’re hotter and they’re stronger, and I am determined to make sure, first, that we get the resources that we need to put them out, and then second, that we fix the broken system of fighting the fires and get serious about preventing fires in the first place,” Wyden said.

Sen. Wyden said he just sent a bi-partisan proposal to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer detailing the importance of fire prevention.

Sen. Wyden said the government has consistently short-changed fire prevention and that has to stop.

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