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Federal Disaster Aid Starts Flowing To Oregon Fire Victims

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Brian Bull
/
KLCC

More than 4,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid following the series of wildfires in Oregon.

The aid is available to people in the eight hardest-hit Oregon counties.

More than $7 million in assistance has been approved so far, according to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “This will help Oregonians with their immediate, critical needs, such as gasoline, groceries, diapers and baby food,” she said.

Still, state officials said during a press briefing Wednesday that some Oregonians have had their applications rejected, often due to technical reasons such as a missing signature or an incorrect date. They urged people who’ve been denied to file an appeal.

"It's critical that Oregonians continue to follow the process and receive every bit of federal assistance that's available," said Andrew Phelps of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. "It can be frustrating, I get it."

The governor said there are still seven major fires still actively burning, but she said fire crews appear to have the upper hand on most of them. There are nine confirmed deaths from this month's fires, with five people still missing or unaccounted for.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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