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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Renews Wildfire Insurance Policy

2015 is expected to be a challenging summer for fighting wildfires.

As Northwest states brace for what's expected to be a challenging summer for fighting wildfires, Oregon has decided to renew its wildfire insurance policy.

The policy isn't cheap. The premium is nearly $4 million and it comes with a $50 million deductible.

But last year Oregon spent $75 million fighting wildfires. So the policy could save the state money if this summer's fire season gets really bad. With a low snowpack and drought declarations in effect in parts of the Northwest, fire managers are warning that 2015 could be one for the books.

After several bad fire years, Oregon wasn't even sure if it would be offered a wildfire insurance policy this year. But Lloyds of London made the state an offer, and this week fire officials decided to buy the policy.