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FEMA Administrator Tours Oregon Wildfire Areas

Karen Richards

FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor toured areas affected by Oregon wildfires Saturday with members of the state's Congressional delegation. Representative Peter DeFazio chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees FEMA.


In advance of a tour up Highway 126, DeFazio highlighted several needs specific to the Holiday Farm Fire. He’d like to move quickly to recover hazardous waste from burned structures along the McKenzie River, so that when it rains, Eugene’s drinking water supply won’t be contaminated. Then, there’s the long recovery from property damage. “We’ve got people in hotels now, and we can get them housing for 18 months, while they rebuild," said DeFazio. "We’ve got businesses that were destroyed, they’re going to bring in the Small Business Administration to help those people with those businesses. FEMA will really coordinate the effort and they are very well resourced.”


DeFazio said disaster aid is one area with bipartisan agreement. Gaynor said although they’ve responded to historic disasters this year, including the coronavirus pandemic, the agency is equipped to meet Oregon's needs.


Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
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