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U.S. Basketball Academy Now Host To Temporary Housing For Wildfire Refugees

Brian Bull

The U.S. Basketball Academy in Blue River has become a new site for FEMA temporary housing.  Families displaced by last year’s Holiday Farm Fire are the tenants.

Inside one of the units, Oregon Governor Kate Brown follows FEMA officer Tony Raines on a guided tour.

“Are people on a waiting list?” asked the governor.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Governor Kate Brown (left) and FEMA's Tony Raines (right) discuss the accommodations for occupants of the temporary housing unit.

“We have every family identified for these 17 units here. In fact, the placement is done based on the family composition, so we know a family that needs a three-bedroom unit, is coming into this unit,” responded Raines. 

Right, okay.” 

The site accommodates 17 families, though FEMA says it could be expanded for 19, if need be. 

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Melanie Stanley of Blue River, at Thursday's event with state and federal officials. She won't be staying at the FEMA site, but looks forward to seeing friends and neighbors come back.

Blue River resident Melanie Stanley is excited to see some of her neighbors coming back to the area.

“Blue River will come back, as well as the rest of the communities up and down the corridor that were heavily affected by the fire," she said, standing before the units.

"So I’m looking forward to that. And I know it’s a long road, but we’ll get there.” 

The FEMA units are available through March. What happens afterwards is still being determined.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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