09/09/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/09/2020 19:35
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to quickly approve Governor Kate Brown's September 9, 2020 request for a Major Disaster declaration for Oregon due to severe wildfire damage. The letter was also sent to Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor.
In the letter, DeFazio writes, 'Severe wildfires are burning throughout my district. Lane, Douglas and Linn Counties are particularly hard-hit, and other counties may soon face the same severe fire dangers. It is imperative that the federal government support these local communities with the resources they need…Given the severity and speed with which these fires are spreading across my district, I urge you to expedite the declaration process to ensure that Oregonians have the resources they need to respond to and recover quickly from these devastating wildfires.'
Due to a severe drought this summer, Oregon's forest and brush conditions are currently the driest on record. These conditions, combined with an unprecedented windstorms in recent days, helped to rapidly spread existing fires and caught many communities by surprise. Thousands across Southwest Oregon have been forced to evacuate their communities. Hundreds of homes, businesses and other buildings have been destroyed.
As Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), DeFazio urged Governor Brown to seek a major disaster declaration, including direct assistance to individuals and homeowners.