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Wyden raises concerns over shortage of firefighters, federal spending on fire prevention

(Enterprise/FILE)

Oregon faces a shortage of wildland firefighters that could be “a recipe for trouble,” according to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.

Wyden wrote to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently with concerns that their agencies weren’t prepared to handle another catastrophic fire season such as that of 2020 and 2021.

He said one out of five wildland firefighter jobs in Oregon and Washing stand empty, depleting the ranks of those tasked with containing and quelling wildfires. The wildland firefighting program for the region is currently staffed at 1,840 firefighters, according to . . .