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FEMA directs $3.6 million to cover firefighting efforts during 2020 White River Fire

White River Fire as seen from Pine Grove in late August of 2020
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White River Fire as seen from Pine Grove in late August of 2020

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced this week that more than $3.6 million from the Federal Emergency Management Administration will go toward recovery from the White River Fire that burned in the Mt. Hood National Forest in August 2020.

“The White River Fire demonstrated how quickly wildfire can spread with a changing climate causing high winds and drought,” Wyden said. “Wildfire season is starting earlier, lasting longer and destroying more of our treasured natural spaces, homes and businesses, not to mention killing people trapped in the blazes. I will continue to fight every day for nationwide efforts to battle climate change and prevent wildfire by caring for the health of Oregon’s forest land.”

“Like so many other wildfires that devastated communities and forests across the state, the White River Fire put lives in jeopardy, homes in harm’s way, and left thousands of forest acres in serious need of restoration,” said Merkley. “I am pleased that Oregon will receive federal reimbursement for fire suppression efforts, and I will continue fighting for resources that ensure Oregon stays prepared and resilient against climate chaos and wildfire disasters.” 

This award provides $3,678,520 in federal reimbursement to the Oregon Department of Forestry for fire suppression measures. On August 17, 2020, the White River Fire began from lightning in Mt. Hood National Forest, threatening more than 1,700 residences and burning more than 17,000 acres.

KTVZ news sources

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