Hillsboro company gets $70 million federal contract for air tankers to fight wildfires

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) — Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said Tuesday that Hillsboro-based Erickson Aero Tanker has earned a $70.5 million federal contract for next-generation large air tanker services to support wildland firefighting in Oregon and nationwide.

“The blazes that devastated so much of Oregon this year, unfortunately, provide the latest example of the urgent need to build a comprehensive arsenal of tools to fight wildfires in our state and the entire country,” Wyden said. “Air tankers are an essential piece of that arsenal, and I’m glad Erickson Aero Tanker has earned this contract that will help keep Oregon communities safe while also generating good jobs in Washington County.”

“I drove hundreds of miles across Oregon as this year’s unprecedented wildfires raged, and I saw unfathomable destruction and hazardous smoke at every turn,” said Merkley, who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the USDA. “This year was a devastating reminder of just how important it is that we have every possible tool—including air tankers—at the ready to keep our communities safe from future blazes. I’m pleased that this funding is headed to our state, and I’m going to keep doing everything I can to make sure we’re not only prepared but taking urgently needed steps to reduce the risk of more catastrophic wildfires.”

Read more on this story at KTVZ.com

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