Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley this week announced that Oregon will receive $1.23 million in federal reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for emergency protective measures in extreme fire conditions and hazardous debris removal from the Riverside Fire that ripped through Clackamas County in September 2020.
“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. “This week I heard from Oregonians in Clackamas County during my online town hall about the difficult recovery from fires, and I am gratified to see FEMA dollars repaying the efforts that provided critical services when the Riverside Fire stretched local and state staff capacity to the breaking point.”
“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 substantial reimbursement the Oregon Fire Marshall and State Police will receive reflects the unprecedented actions they took to protect communities during the 2020 fires. I will continue to fight for resources that boost and strengthen wildfire recovery efforts and make sure they are available in every corner of the state.”
Starting Sept. 8, 2020, the Riverside Fire burned about 150,000 acres in Clackamas County. The Oregon State Office of the Fire Marshal (OSFM) assisted with public evacuations and protected the communities of Estacada, Sandy, Molalla, Springwater, Dodge, Elwood, Colton, Fernwood, and Glen Avon. Fire crews provided fire suppression, removed burned debris, and felled as well as stabilized fire damaged and hazard trees to prevent further damage.
A web version of this release is here.