Hansell Wildfire Legislation Passes the Legislature Unanimously

Farmers and ranchers can now defend lands by plowing fire lines of areas threatened by wildfire without civil liabilities

Damage in the wake of the Substation Fire, 2018 (Image by, NRCS Oregon,  Flickr )

Damage in the wake of the Substation Fire, 2018 (Image by, NRCS Oregon, Flickr)

 
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Salem, Ore. – Yesterday, Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena), chief sponsor of Senate Bill 290, witnessed its ceremonial signing by Governor Kate Brown along with members of the Oregon Wheat Grower’s League. The legislation makes farmers, ranchers and volunteers immune from civil liabilities resulting from wildfire fighting efforts.

Senator Hansell released the following statement:

“This legislation was inspired by the 2018 Substation fire in Wasco and Sherman Counties, which was the largest fire in the continental United States at one time, burning over 78,000 acres of crop and range land. This is a Good Samaritan bill for farmers and ranchers to plow fire lines, and it protects these farmers and ranchers from liability. I am proud to have witnessed the ceremonial signing along with the farmers and ranchers that it will help.”

Senator Hansell’s family has farmed and ranched in Umatilla County for generations. The new law will become effective on January 1, 2020.

Senator Hansell and Members of the Wheat Growers League with Governor Kate Brown.

Senator Hansell and Members of the Wheat Growers League with Governor Kate Brown.

Press release provided from the Office of Oregon Senator Bill Hansell.