Aerial Rapid Response Team
Upon taking office my administration will make the case to fund a new task force, Aerial Rapid Response Team (ARRT).
We need to construct new fire-towers strategically located at vulnerable points in Oregon’s forests as recommended by Fire Captains and the Forest Management Committee. Each fire tower will be equipped to send immediate notifications of new fires. Aerial water-dropping craft need to be fully loaded and ready to go. We will invest in new environmentally friendly fire-suppressing technology and new types of firefighting aircraft and larger water-dropping planes which will save the state millions in the long run.
Satellite radar technology exists that can detect the start of a fire within minutes. I will make sure that Oregon Fire and Rescue is tapped into this technology. Once notified of a new fire, ARRT will already be ready to act, patrolling the skies during the short fire season and immediately congregating around fires to quickly dampen them in their infancy. While we cannot prevent all fires from getting out of control, we can dramatically decrease the number of fires that will have that opportunity.
None of us will ever forget the feeling of being trapped in our homes during the fires and smoke of 2020. Many had their lives irrevocably changed by the fires. Where ever possible, I want to stop that kind of tragedy from taking place.
Forest fires do not stop at state borders. Washington and California must work together with Oregon to help prevent these raging fires that spread from state to state. I want to establish a wildfire task force to create a 3-State Solution like no other. We can share technology, robotics and infrared flame detection cameras.
Continual Forest Management is a must. Being proactive is an important step in forest fire prevention. Removing dead brush, backburning, and thinning trees will be necessary. Good forest management practices alone will not be enough…especially with climate change drying out our lush forests.
Protecting old-growth forests is in my heart and we need to think outside the box to protect them. Each year we tragically lose just a little bit more of our ancient, mystifying old growth forests.
What Are The Alternatives?
The cost of wildfires in just 2020 alone was over $350-million.
Over 4000 homes were destroyed and millions of beautiful wild animals were killed.
For fiscal conservatives who are against investing more into a fire-fighting bill, what is your alternative? Doing nothing is not an option. Don’t oppose this without giving detailed concrete resolutions and solutions on what the inevitable will bring. Because if you think 2020 was bad, the climate is only getting worse and so will future destruction.
Upon taking office my first goal will be to pressure the US Congress to fund a new West Coast 2022 fire-fighting bill. But we must be ready if partisan politics prevents anything from getting done in Washington. How can we pay for this?
We have to go big. It’s time for ARRT.
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