Youth crews help protect homes from wildfire thanks to state-funded training

  • Source: Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus,
  • Published: 10/02/2022 07:00 AM

Lindsay Nava hauled branches up a long wooded driveway near Grants Pass under the burning midday sun on Tuesday. Her blonde hair, tucked into braids and bound back with a bandana, poked out from underneath her orange hard hat while she felled trees and limbs, building a pile to turn into wood chips. Nava, 22, is on a five-person team of young people working to clear fire hazards from around homes and buildings in Southern Oregon, through a new effort funded by the Legislature in 2021 as part of a sweeping $195 million package to boost Oregon’s wildfire preparedness. The Oregon Conservation Corps program allows young people to develop the skills to become wildland firefighters and land managers while helping vulnerable communities mitigate fire risks. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission, which distributes the funds, expects nearly 400 corps members ages 16 to 26 to work on crews overseen by tribes, schools and nonprofits around the state.


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