Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will receive more than $43 million in additional recovery funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for continued hazard tree and debris removal after the 2020 fire disasters.
“Recovery efforts from the catastrophic 2020 fire season have been steady, but too many small communities have carried the challenging and expensive burden of taking immediate action to clean up and clear roads after the fires were out,” said Wyden, who fought hard for federal funding to cover the immense recovery costs after the 2020 fires. “I am gratified to see additional dollars come into our state to cover crucial hazard tree and debris removal so that Oregonians can safely concentrate putting resources toward rebuilding our communities.”
“Oregon’s devastating 2020 wildfire season took a heavy emotional and financial toll on many of our small communities, and we need to continue to do everything we can help them recover and rebuild,” said Merkley. “I’m glad this federal funding is headed to ODOT to help ease the expensive burden communities took on to pick up the pieces and move forward. I will keep working to ensure Oregon communities have the tools they need to recover and become more resilient in the face of future wildfires while we take on the climate chaos fueling these disasters in the first place.”
These FEMA dollars come in addition to the more than $218 million in federal reimbursement for hazard tree and debris removal in Marion, Lane, and Jackson Counties following an increased FEMA cost share formula for all major emergency and disaster events, such as the 2020 fire events in those counties.