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Hansell Proposes Fire Bills

In the wake of this past summer’s Substation Fire that burned 80,000 acres of land in Wasco and Sherman counties, Oregon 29th District State Senator Bill Hansell is introducing a package of bills that he thinks will improve firefighting efforts on farmland.  Hansell is sponsoring four bills to provide flexibility in fighting wildfires on agricultural lands and move some previously unprotected land to the jurisdiction of the Oregon State Fire Marshal.  Hansell says Senate Bill 290 would provide civil immunity to people fighting fires in good faith to relieve the worries of farmers about assuming liability for property damage or injuries during firefighting efforts.  Another measure, Senate Bill 311, moves 400,000 acres in Sherman and Wasco counties under the state fire marshal’s umbrella.  The Substation Fire was the one of the largest fires in the country this summer, burning thousands of acres of wheat in the process.