SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday signed a bill to require an annual report to the Legislature on efforts to protect communities near forest lands from wildfires.
House Bill 2222 orders the Oregon Department of Forestry to tell lawmakers about implementation and enforcement of property notifications and certifications required under the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire Protection Act.
The bill was inspired, in part, by the wildfire last year in Paradise, Calif. that killed 85 people and destroyed thousands of buildings. Bend was one of the communities mentioned in testimony on HB 2222 that could be susceptible to similar fires.
The bill’s co-sponsors included Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, and Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles.