Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have announced that nearly $35 million in federal grant funding is headed to five counties in Oregon, including Douglas, to help cover the cost of wildfire debris removal efforts.

Merkley said when the Labor Day fires hit last year, he criss-crossed the state to meet with impacted communities and assess the damage. Merkley said, “It’s impossible to put into words how heartbreaking it is to see the rubble of cherished homes and businesses that got caught in the flames, and it takes real courage to clean up the debris and start anew”. Merkley said he will continue to do all he can to help Oregonians get back on their feet, “…while also addressing the climate chaos that is causing these catastrophic wildfires in the first place”.

Wyden said, “The devastating losses from last year’s fires throughout our state came through in painful and powerful detail from Oregonians who both showed and told me how these blazes destroyed their homes, businesses and communities”.  Wyden said one common theme in Oregonian’s work toward a full recovery and rebound “…is the urgent need to cover the often-punishing costs of removing debris from that destruction”.

Douglas County will receive over $2 million of the funds, to remove debris from 65 homes and structures throughout the county that were destroyed by the Archie Creek Fire. The other counties receiving help include:

*Nearly $12 million for Marion County

*Over $10 million for Jackson County

*Nearly $7 million for Lane County

*Over $3,5 million for Lincoln County