Oregon Lawmakers Praise New Firefighting Contract

Dec 10, 2019

Several members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation are praising the U.S. Forest Service for awarding a new type of firefighting contract meant to save the agency money.

Credit Oregon Department of Forestry

They’re called “Call When Needed” contracts. They allow the Forest Service to put wildfire-fighting air tankers into service when they’re needed, but don’t require the agency to pay for the tankers when they’re not being used.

Oregon’s two Senators, Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Republican Rep. Greg Walden, issued a joint statement calling the contracts welcome news.

One reason for their praise? Two of the six “Call When Needed” contracts were awarded to Oregon companies: Coulson Aviation of Portland and Erickson Aero of Hillsboro.