U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon will receive nearly $50 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for debris removal and power line repair in the Santiam Canyon for recovery from the devastating 2020 Labor Day fires.
“Oregon has made incredible progress recovering from the catastrophic Labor Day fires, but these efforts have been challenging and expensive,” Wyden said. “As we anticipate more and more challenging wildfire seasons to come, I am gratified to see FEMA dollars go toward both repair and prevention measures for the Santiam Canyon as Oregonians continue to work to rebuild our communities from these historically destructive blazes.”
“Damaged power lines and widespread debris continues to stall the recovery of Santiam Canyon from the devastating Labor Day wildfires,” said Merkley. “I am pleased that federal funding will help address these concerns for Oregon families and move the region one step closer towards full recovery. I will continue to advocate for federal resources that boost our wildfire resiliency and help prevent future disasters from taking place.”
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will receive $44.68 million for commercial property debris removal from the Labor Day wildfires. The wildfires damaged an estimated 1,536 commercial properties in the communities of Detroit, Gates, Lyons, Mehama, and Mill City. The structures include commercial mobile home parks, rental properties, recreational vehicle parks, and local business properties that ODOT will be continuing to work to clear debris and ash.
Consumers Power Inc., which provides electric services for the Santiam Canyon will receive $4.68 million for repairs to power lines damaged in the Labor Day Fires of 2020, including replacing wooden poles with fiberglass, replacing damaged transformers, and undergrounding power lines where possible.