Transportation & Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio, Senators Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley, Announce $13.1 Million for Oregon Office of Emergency Management for 2020 Wildfire Costs

WASHINGTON—Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-04) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) $13.1 million for costs tied to the 2020 wildfires.

“Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic wildfires that ravaged our state last fall, Southwest Oregon is recovering from multiple crises at once,” the lawmakers said. “Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, state, tribal, and local governments have seen their public health and emergency management capacities stretched thin or exceeded and their financial resources come under strain. Federal support like these funds ensures our communities can focus on recovery instead of on the financial burdens of the effort.”

In September, the House of Representatives passed DeFazio-authored legislation, the FEMA Assistance Relief Act, to reduce the financial burdens on states and communities after natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Biden took decisive action in the first days of his administration to provide relief for COVID assistance provided by FEMA, and Congressman DeFazio and Senators Wyden and Merkley continue pursuing additional relief for Oregon.