City of Brookings to receive $30,000 fire impact grant

Chetco Bar Fire, August 30, 2017. (Sheriff John Ward) 

The Oregon Business Development Department will award the City of Brookings $30,000 to evaluate the impacts of the Chetco Bar Fire on the city's water system and develop a mitigation plan.

This is the first of three grant applications the city has submitted to fund post-fire projects.

The Oregon Health Authority recommended the grant after hearing concerns from the city about the potential impacts to their water quality due to erosion in the watershed happening over the next few years projected by the Bureau of Land Management.

“We became very concerned as the Chetco Bar Fire consumed about 70 per cent of the watershed serving the City’s sole source of water supply,” City Manager Gary Milliman said. “We also received the report from BLM that sediment in the north fork of the Chetco River could increase by 900 per cent.”

The city will use the funds to assess the quality in the water and potential impacts. The work will also review the performance of the city's Ranney collector system and a sampling of the water quality and analysis.

“The information gathered will provide information that we can use in pursuing additional mitigation work on federal lands impacted by the fire,” Milliman said. “But the main goal is to gain an understanding about the impact of the fire and subsequent erosion on the City’s water system and what we need to do to protect it.”

The city also is asking for funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development for a economic impact analysis and recovery plan.

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