Oregon Legislators Receive Pole Creek Fire Report
Rep. Whisnant's Bill Addresses Impacts on Public Health and the Environment
Salem, OR --State officials briefed legislators this week on the impacts of the 2012 Pole Creek Fire, which burned over 26,000 acres near Sisters. The report was requested by House Bill 3109, which was co-sponsored Rep Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) and Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie).
The report produced by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) documented the adverse impacts that the fire had on public health and on wildlife, fish and aquatic habitat.
"This report will increase the public's awareness of the effects of forest wildfires on public health and the environment, and hopefully will result in improved forest management practices," Rep. Whisnant said.
The report discusses the fire, describes the serious impacts on public health and the environment and makes recommendations. It also states that there were no direct injuries resulting from the fire and the resulting poor air quality, but Deschutes County had larger numbers of heart-related and respiratory-related deaths than in the previous year. Numerous environmental impacts were also discussed, including increased stream temperatures and water quality degradation due to soil erosion.
Rep. Whisnant is serving his sixth term as State Representative for Redmond, Sunriver, Tumalo and parts of Bend and Deschutes County.