WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Oregon's Congressional delegation and FEMA announced on Friday that the White House has approved an emergency disaster declaration for the state as wildfires continue to rage.
"Families across Oregon are facing horrific and potentially life-changing circumstances as these fires sweep through our state,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “I urge all Oregonians to continue to remain vigilant and follow directions from local emergency management agencies. My heart is with everyone across our state who is being impacted by this dangerous and heartbreaking situation.”
According to FEMA, that approval allows the agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts for "alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population," and providing emergency assistance.
The assistance applies to Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Tillamook, and Washington counties.
“Our state is in crisis as life-threatening fires and smoke threaten communities from all over Oregon,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “Countless Oregonians have been forced from their homes, and businesses have been lost as these fires continue to rage. Oregonians need help now, and this emergency disaster declaration will provide the state critical resources to fight these fires. I will continue to fight for resources until we are safe and recovered.”
According to the Oregon delegation, the emergency declaration helps with "Emergency Protective Measures" while first responders continue to work. Eligible entities may receive direct assistance and reimbursement for work undertaken to save lives and protect property, including search and rescue, emergency transportation, and distribution of food and first aid.
"The unprecedented wildfires in Oregon mean we all need to pull together to get as much help as possible to those who have lost so much,” said Representative Greg Walden. “I am pleased that President Trump quickly approved Oregon’s Emergency Disaster Declaration. This will help ensure our state has the resources needed to deal with these disastrous wildfires."