As fire season begins, many fire departments in Oregon are getting a financial boost to increase staffing during the summer months.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal invited fire departments to apply for one-time $35,000 grants to help increase staffing for fire season. So far, more than 160 agencies have applied for the grants, which cap out at $6 million. That funding comes from Senate Bill 762, which passed after Oregon's nightmarish 2020 fire season. “We're going to be able to pay some of our volunteers and give our full-time people overtime to be able to staff this station during our most critical hours,” said Mt. Angel Fire District Chief Jim Trierweiler. “Our [fire season] apprehensions get a little bit higher each year.”
Mt. Angel is one of several rural agencies in Marion County. When called upon, the agencies all play a collective role in helping fight major fires across the Willamette Valley and beyond.