Forest fire at Mount Hood
The Forest Service awarded contracts to eight providers of qualified wildland firefighter crews, including Philomath-based Miller Timber Services. (Photo by Getty Images)

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced last week that the U.S. Forest Service awarded contracts to eight Oregon companies in Merlin, Redmond, Salem, Ashland, Philomath, Merrill, Sutherlin and Independence to provide crews to fight wildland fires.

Philomath-based Miller Timber Services was among the companies that were awarded a contract.

“Fighting wildfires and protecting lives, homes and small businesses in Oregon and nationwide demand trained crews that can respond quickly and reliably,” Wyden said through a press release. “I’m pleased the Forest Service has recognized these Oregon companies can provide these essential and courageous workers who can defend communities from the devastation that wildfires can unleash.”

The Forest Service contracts are up to — and not to exceed — the following amounts over a period of five years to the following Oregon providers of qualified wildland firefighter crews:

• $180 million to Grayback Forestry, LLC in Merlin

• $160 million to PatRick Environmental, Inc. in Redmond

• $60 million to North Pacific Forestry, Inc. in Salem

• $60 million to Pacific Oasis, Inc. in Ashland

• $60 million to Miller Timber Services, Inc. in Philomath

• $40 million to Lost River Fire Management Service, INC. in Merrill

• $40 million to Diamond Fire in Sutherlin

• $40 million to A.S.I. Arden Solutions, Inc. in Independence

“I am grateful for the courage and expertise of our firefighters whose tireless commitment to protecting our communities has saved countless lives and livelihoods,” Merkley said through the press release. “The contracts awarded by the Forest Service will help ensure our firefighting teams continue to receive the tools, training and support they need to keep them safe and equipped during their dangerous work and to continue protecting Oregonians across the state.”

George Murdock, Association of Oregon Counties president and Umatilla County commissioner, said, “Businesses that contract with the Forest Service to fight fires are a critical part of our infrastructure in terms of response. They have long proved their dependability, their readiness and their rapid deployment when emergencies arise.”