News from Rep. Conrad

Conrad Newsletter

May 2023 Newsletter

May is Wildfire Awareness Month

As summer approaches and the sunshine and warm temperatures return, I’m noticing that conversations are once again turning to wildfire season and the unknown of what lies ahead.  The wet winter and above average snowpack should certainly help, but we need to begin preparing, nonetheless.

For those of us who live in Lane County, here is a link to Lane County Emergency Management that provides great resources and information to help us prepare for this summer, including in the event that possible evacuations are needed.

One aspect of this position that I truly enjoy is being able to meet people in the community who spend their own time and energy to help others both prepare for and recover from disasters like wildfires.  I’d like to take this time to acknowledge the great work the McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group continues to do in aiding people still trying to recover from the Holiday Farm Fire.  Multiple state agencies are involved in the recovery process, which is not the easiest to navigate and requires a lot of meetings to identify funding streams, eligibility, and timeframes.  The work this group has done, in particular Devin Thompson, has been tremendous, but it is not yet over.  Devin and I share the same mindset regarding sharing information and lessons learned in this recovery process.  In addition to working in the McKenzie Valley, he graciously spends his time with groups both outside and within the district to share these experiences and help other communities prepare.

I’d also like to acknowledge the great work the Row River Fire Response group has done in working to put a proposed fire district on the ballot in November, and particularly Walt Bernard and Kathleen Istudor.  Their hard work in forming a 501(c)(3), developing plans and submitting grants paid off when they were awarded a $249,540 Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant by the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office. 

Several other Lane County organizations also receiving funding include:

  • City of Eugene - $150,000
  • City of Oakridge - $225,000
  • Lane County - $500,000
  • McKenzie Fire and Rescue - $32,066

As with many other sectors, our local and rural fire agencies are experiencing a shortage of volunteers.  For those who might be interested in volunteering, I encourage you to contact your local agency.  Volunteering in our community and helping protect our neighbors is an incredibly rewarding and gratifying experience.

As the legislature moves into a new phase and prepares for the May economic forecast to be released, we will soon know how much money the state has to work with and where the funds will go.  Until then, I encourage everyone to prepare and to be safe as you enjoy our beautiful district!





Congratulations to each of the recipients of the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grants! Multiple cities and organizations in Lane County will be able to use these grants to "create proactive, local solutions to lessen the impacts of wildfire."

Small Business

Vote for your favorite small business!

Do you have a favorite Lane County coffee shop, mechanic, or Saturday browsing spot?

Tell us all about it!


Oregon Association of Realtors

Realtor Day at the Capitol!

On April 11th, realtors from all across the state visited the Capitol in Salem. It was a pleasure to meet them, including multiple constituents from HD12!


Oregon Wildfire Map


In the News

OR Seal

Emergency Management and Disaster Recovery Bills

HB 2982: Disaster Insurance Claims

HB 2948: Fairground Evacuation Sites

HB 2522: Responding to Fires