MEDFORD, Ore. -- With smoke settled back into the Rogue Valley this week, Sen. Ron Wyden, (D) Oregon, is introducing his latest piece of legislation.
Wyden introduced the 'Clean Air Refugee And Assistance Act' Thursday.
If passed, the bill would allow people who had to find a temporary place to live because of the smoke to apply for federal aid.
"You see kids and seniors and so many vulnerable people, and they're clean air refugees because they're going around the community just trying to find places where they can get air where they can breathe," Wyden said.
The bill would expand the disaster relief program to include those displaced by smoke. It would apply to those who live in an area where the air quality index at least 'unhealthy' for at least three days in a row. That must be a result of a wildfire that is declared a major disaster by the President or the state's Governor.
Wyden said the bill will be crucial for two groups of people.
"It's going to be hugely important for families with young children and seniors who are already facing a set of health issues," Wyden said.