Wyden, Merkley announce $1M in wildfire relief funding for ODOT

WASHINGTON (KPTV) – Two of Oregon’s top lawmakers announced a $1 million emergency relief grant for the Oregon Department of Transportation Tuesday to help with the cleanup of destructive wildfires.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“As our state continues to battle devastating wildfires, these emergency resources will provide much-needed help to Oregonians counting on our roads and highways to get around,” Wyden said. “Much work must still be done to recover and rebuild from these destructive blazes and this grant is a good step forward on that path.”

“The fires burning today reinforce how important it is to fund huge wildfires the way that we fund other natural disasters,” Merkley added. “Emergency grant funding to clean up our roads and get our communities moving again is part of that. Meanwhile, we need to continue working toward a long-term fix so we stop raiding next year’s fire prevention to fight fires today.”

The grant money will be used in the repair of roadways damaged as a result of the wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the state.

Merkley and Wyden sent a letter to federal officials last week echoing Governor Kate Brown’s request for additional fire suppression resources to address 17 large wildfires across Oregon.