OR receives $1.2M for service in devastating Riverside Fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been more than 17 months since the Riverside Fire burned through Clackamas County, and now FEMA is sending $1.2 million in aid.

This new aid was announced by both Oregon senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

“Wildfires and intense winds caused significant damage to many communities in 2020, jeopardizing the stability of small businesses, threatening the homes of many Oregon families, and putting the lives of many first responders on the line,” Merkley said.

The money will go toward the state fire marshal. The funding is reimbursement for work being done in emergency protective measures against extreme fire in the future. That includes hazardous debris removal through the county.

“The Oregon State Fire Marshal went above and beyond the call of duty to protect communities during the catastrophic fires in September of 2020, but these efforts were both challenging and expensive,” Wyden said.

The Riverside Fire burned over 150,000 acres in 2020.

Meanwhile, fire crews say they are nearly done cleaning up properties across the state with more than 160,000 tons of debris cleaned up from the fires that torched the state on Labor Day in 2020.

According to ODOT, 99.7% of all properties are cleaned up from ash and debris from the fires.

Crews have also cleared out over 90% of all dead and dying trees that are labeled as hazardous which is around 96,000 trees.