Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Congressman Peter DeFazio, are urging federal officials to ensure that every affected Oregonian receive federal wildfire recovery resources.
A release said the group sent a letter to Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont, urging the Biden administration to continue delivering assistance to Oregonians affected by the 2020 wildfire season, and to address barriers that are making it harder for some survivors to access resources.
The release said the fires destroyed or damaged more than 5,000 structures across the state, including thousands of homes in low-income neighborhoods. It said tens of thousands of Oregonians were forced to flee from their communities. More than a million acres across Oregon burned in the 2020 wildfires with several people losing their lives as well.
The letter said, “We are particularly concerned about Oregonians with legitimate claims who have not yet received federal assistance and whose applications have been denied over technicalities. It is imperative to ensure that the remaining wildfire survivors who desperately need federal aid receive it as quickly as possible”.
The release said lawmakers requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency partner to the greatest extent possible with state and local organizations “…to appropriately and flexibility address the survivor’s needs”.