FEMA & EPA To Provide Clean Up For Oregon Property Owners After Wildfires

Oct 12, 2020

Property owners across Oregon are grappling with how to rebuild after this summer’s devastating wildfires. They may be able to get help from FEMA and the EPA.  

Wildfires across Oregon left behind hazardous material and debris. With the help of FEMA and the EPA, property owners in eight Oregon counties can have specialized crews clean their property at no cost. In order to take advantage of this program, property owners must sign up by Friday, October 16.
Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

Because each situation is unique, property owners should work closely with their insurance company to understand exactly what is covered. Lane County Waste Management Superintendent Jeff Bishop says understanding safety and cost is especially important for those wanting to do the work themselves.

“FEMA has granted authorization for what is called category B clean up,” said Bishop. “And that's where crews funded by EPA will come through with the owners permission and remove hazardous waste from those sites. And that sort of clears the way for debris clean up which is known as phase two.”

Lane County was notified last week that FEMA has authorized funding for phase two. If insurance covers the cost of the services, it will be recouped by FEMA. If not, there is no additional cost to the property owner.

Property owners wanting to participate, need to sign a “Right of Entry” form by October 16th.

Helpful insurance information can be found here. Lane County resources and the Right of Entry form can be found here.

Bishop says the FEMA/EPA crews can clear hazardous waste from about five properties per day. But with 8 counties in Oregon needing assistance, FEMA’s deadline to complete all of phase one is by the end of December 2020. Then, work to clear debris can begin.