Wildfire News & Resources

A record-breaking number of large fires raged across the state; extraordinary efforts are underway to clean up and rebuild. Countless Oregonians will be living and working in uncertainty for months, if not years.

AGC is here to support rebuilding efforts and the construction industry in whatever way we can.

Wildfire Recovery Information

 

Rogue Valley gets over $8,000,000 in Disaster Recovery Employment Grants

  • Funds can be used to hire temporary workers for disaster clean-up, recovery or humanitarian aid
  • Employment services and job training are also available for entry into high-demand industry sector jobs with high-wage “earn and learn” career paths

[December 18] The Rogue Workforce Partnership has been awarded $8,073,654 in new federal grants to help the region respond to the recent wildfire disaster, as well as other impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds can pay for temporary workers to help with clean-up, recovery, and humanitarian efforts directly related to the wildfire disaster or the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. These are complimentary funds, designed to wrap-around, and not duplicate, other disaster recovery funds from FEMA or private insurance.

Temporary disaster recovery subsidized jobs can perform the following types of work:

    • Distribution of food, clothing, and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims.
    • Clean-up and recovery efforts including demolition, repair, renovation and reconstruction of damaged and destroyed structures, facilities and lands located within the disaster area related to the emergency or disaster. Individual disaster relief employment is limited to 12 months or less for work related to recovery from a single emergency or disaster which may be extended an additional 12 months if sufficiently justified.

These new funds add to the pool of funds regularly available to help unemployed workers connect to jobs, or get on-the-job training, paid internships, or short-term training that will launch them into high-demand jobs in industries with high-wage career paths such as healthcare, manufacturing, construction, transportation and logistics, natural resources or information technology. Funds for related child care, transportation and housing supports may also be available. In addition, there are funds to help businesses skill-up current workers that can create “earn and learn” opportunities and career advancement.

Contact Jim Fong or Jill teVelde for more details on the wide variety of options and qualifications for these grants, or go to visit the website.


FEMA Application Deadline Has Passed but Help Still Available for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

[December 2] The Nov. 30 deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance has passed, but help is still available for wildfire survivors as FEMA continues working with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Oregon homeowners and renters who applied for FEMA disaster assistance have the right to appeal FEMA’s eligibility decisions. Survivors who don’t agree with FEMA’s eligibility decision may file an appeal within 60 days of receiving their letter, even though the application deadline has passed. To learn more about the appeals process, including what to include and how to file an appeal visit https://go.usa.gov/x77EB. Appeals must be made in writing explaining why the agency should re-evaluate its decision and sent to FEMA by mail, fax or uploading to your online FEMA account.

Keep in Touch with FEMA

Applicants should stay in touch with FEMA to ensure the disaster assistance process stays on track. Missing or incorrect information could result in delays in receiving assistance. Update contact information, report additional home damage or a delay in insurance claims in the following ways:

    • Going online at DisasterAssistance.gov
    • Downloading the FEMA app
    • Calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.
    • Those who use a Relay service, such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide their specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

While the deadline to apply with FEMA has passed, late applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Buy Flood Insurance Now

Oregonians who live in and around areas impacted by the wildfires face an increased risk of flooding for up to several years after the disaster. If you haven’t already purchased a flood insurance policy, it’s important to consider buying it now. It takes 30 days after applying for a new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policy to go into effect. For more about information on FEMA’s NFIP, visit FloodSmart.gov. If you are ready to buy flood insurance, go to FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance/buy. To find a flood insurance provider near you, visit FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance/providers. Twenty-five providers were listed for Oregon as of Nov. 25. Many have toll-free phone numbers. Before rebuilding, homeowners should contact their local building official and/or floodplain manager to make sure all building requirements are met.

SBA Disaster Loans

The Nov. 30 application deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan for home or business physical damage has also passed. In some circumstances, however, applications may be accepted after the deadline on a case-by-case basis. For more information, call 800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) 5 am to 5 pm daily, email questions to FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or visit sba.gov/disaster. The application deadline for businesses and private nonprofit organizations for a loan for economic injury is June 15, 2021. Applicants can complete an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

Free Home Repair Advice

All Oregon residents – including disaster survivors affected by the wildfires and straight-line winds – can still get personalized mitigation advice from a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialist. For information on how to build safer and stronger or to inquire about your flood risk following a fire, email FEMA-R10-MIT@fema.dhs.gov and a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialist will respond. This is a free service.

Free Crisis Counseling is Available

Need to talk? The Safe+Strong Helpline is available for both children and adults who are struggling with stress, anxiety or other disaster-related depression-like symptoms. For help, call 800-923-4357 or visit safestrongoregon.org/mental-emotional-health.

Disaster Legal Assistance

Disaster Legal Services is taking questions from wildfire survivors. Go to: oregondisasterlegalservices.org, or call 800-452-7636 or 503-684-3763, Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm.

Disaster Case Management

Community members who are enrolled in local/state/tribal and/or federal programs providing case management are encouraged to reach out to and stay in touch with their providers throughout their recovery.

211info

211info is a nonprofit organization funded by state and municipal contracts, foundations, United Ways, donations and community partners in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

211info empowers Oregon and Southwest Washington communities by helping people identify, navigate and connect with the local resources they need. To speak with a community information specialist about resources in your area: call 211 or 866-698-6155; text your zip code to 898211; or email help@211info.org. Representatives are available 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.


Generators Needed for Wildfire Recovery

[November 9] Marion County Emergency Management is looking for small, portable generators. If you have any that you can donate and/or provide at a reduced cost for wildfire survivors, please contact emergency coordinator Mike Hintz, 503-798-6847 or mhintz@co.marion.or.us.


DEQ Cleanup Guidelines

[November 6] DEQ recommends property owners not perform cleanup themselves because of the danger to themselves and the community. The state of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to safely address ash and debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

However, if you decide to handle the cleanup process yourself, DEQ would like to make you aware of these considerations:

    • Cleanup will be at your own cost. FEMA will not reimburse you for cleanup costs if you do it yourself. Removal of household hazardous waste and debris can cost as much as $75,000. Even with insurance, a majority of this cost may not be covered.
    • Hire a DEQ licensed asbestos abatement contractor to do the work, to protect you and your family from the risk of exposure to asbestos.
    • Contact your insurance provider before you begin cleanup to learn of requirements they may have for reimbursement.
    • Contact your county or city building department or code enforcement agency to determine their cleanup requirements for new construction permits.
    • Determine if the ash and debris contain asbestos. Many homes and buildings have materials with asbestos. State rules govern varying aspects of managing and removing asbestos.
    • Contact your local waste disposal site to learn what requirements they have for waste acceptance.
    • Cover ash and debris loads during transport.
    • Recycle metal, concrete and wood debris.
    • Hire a licensed professional to conduct soil sampling immediately following the completion of wildfire debris removal.
    • Retain copies of all soil sampling results and documentation.
    • Be aware of fraudsters and scam artists.

Learn more about DEQ recommendations and guidelines.


 

Other Wildfire Information

Governor Kate Brown Appoints Matthew Garrett as Wildfire Recovery Director

[October 12] Governor Kate Brown today announced the appointment of Matthew Garrett as Wildfire Recovery Director, effective immediately. In this role, Garrett will serve as principal advisor to the Governor on recovery issues related to the 2020 wildfire season, develop a strategic recovery plan designed to consider the needs of all impacted Oregon communities, and lead the development of a 2021 budget and policy request that represents the total recovery needs of Oregon communities in collaboration with the Governor’s Disaster Cabinet and Wildfire Economic Recovery Council.

“As we begin the process of rebuilding after the historic wildfire devastation our state has seen, we need a seasoned leader like Mr. Garrett who understands the economics of our state, as well as the importance of bringing communities together,” said Governor Brown. “His experience and approach will help us make good fiscal decisions while helping to address the needs of Oregonians in all our communities that have been impacted.”

Garrett brings decades of experience to this role. He served as director of the Oregon Department of Transportation from 2005 to 2019 – the longest serving director in the state agency’s 100+ year history. Agency achievements under his leadership include receiving the largest funding package ever for transportation in Oregon (Keep Oregon Moving in 2017) and implementing the nation’s first operational per-mile road use charge. Previously at ODOT, Garrett served as Local Government Liaison, Chief of Staff, and as the Portland Region manager for ODOT. Before joining ODOT in 1997, he served on the personal staff of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield from 1994 to 1997 in both his Washington, D.C. office and as Oregon field representative. Garrett was raised in Oregon and is a graduate of George Washington University.

Garrett’s appointment as Wildfire Recovery Director is effective through June 30, 2021.


Salsgiver Appointed to Governor’s Wildfire Economic Recovery Council

[October 6] Mike Salsgiver, the Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter executive director, has been appointed to Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Wildfire Economic Recovery Council. AGC represents the construction industry in Oregon, and has members in all areas of the state, including those hit hard by recent wildfires.

The Governor’s Wildfire Economic Recovery Council, which serves to evaluate the economic and community needs of Oregonians as a result of the 2020 wildfire season, held its first meeting yesterday. The meeting included a statewide overview of impacted communities and lessons learned from previous recovery efforts in communities such as Paradise, California. Read more.


Wildfire Resources for Employees

[Sept 28] The Oregon Employment Department is currently working with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor to implement Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for those affected by the Oregon wildfires. The agency is waiting for federal approvals. Employees impacted by the wildfires can get information about unemployment here.


Resources

 

Current Fire and Evacuation Information 

County-Specific Resources

Check out your county website for updated maps, evacuation information (including evacuation levels and zones), and other emergency resources. We also recommend you sign up for alerts here.

Oregon Wildfire Resources (State of Oregon)View the page to see all links.

2020 Oregon Wildfire Response and Recovery – Wildfire CleanupThe State of Oregon, in coordination with federal, state and local partners, are working on strategies to address the significant task of fire debris removal.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality: The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality monitors air quality and issues advisories when wildfire smoke degrades air. DEQ also regulates land and water in the cleaning up and rebuilding that may follow a wildfire.

Maps of Major Oregon and Washington Fires: The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which coordinates firefighters across the region, shares this map of major fires in the Pacific Northwest. 

Northwest Fires, Oregon Evacuations: Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC), Oregon’s RAPTOR Map shows wildfires across the U.S. West and evacuation zones within the state. Enter an address to quickly zoom in on a specific location. It’s slow to load, so prepare for a brief wait before the map appears.

Wildfire Resources from Marion and Polk County Homebuilders Associations and Marion County Planning Department. Contact Mike Erdmann, Marion and Polk County HBA.


Who to Follow

Many counties, state agencies, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as local news and media outlets are using social media to broadcast information and updates immediately. 

 

Donations


If you would like to add to this list, especially for local organizations and efforts, please contact Karla Holland at the AGC office.

  • Red Cross Cascades Region
  • KGW Northwest Response Fund
    The American Red Cross has teamed up with KGW and KING-TV in Seattle to form the Northwest Response Fund, dedicated to helping those affected by the wildfires raging in Oregon and Washington. Donations will go toward 2020 wildfire relief wherever it is needed.
  • Oregon Business Community Wildfire Relief Fund
    The Oregon Business Council, Oregon Business & Industry, and the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce have joined to raise funds to support Oregonians who have been displaced by this tragedy. Donations will go to OBI’s 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, and they are tax deductible. OBI’s foundation has made an initial commitment that will cover all overhead costs, so every dollar donated will go to communities in need.
  • Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Oregon VOAD)
    VOAD provides a list of verified disaster relief organizations, including Team Rubicon, Salvation Army, and Northwest Baptist Disaster Relief.
  • Rogue Valley Recovers
    Currently focused on the fires burning in Jackson and Josephine Counties, the primary focus is now response. As initial event chaos and distress begins to shift, this site will move with the community need to long term recovery efforts.
  • Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund
    Monetary donations can be mailed to Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund, c/o Santiam SIT of Santiam Hospital, 1401 North 10th Ave, Stayton, OR 97383. Donation sites are also set up and are open Monday–Friday:

    • SIT Mobile, 101 Center Street Ste. A in Sublimity, 10 am–4 pm
    • Immaculate Conception Church Office at 1077 N 6th Ave in Stayton, 8 am–4 pm
    • Cascade School District, 10226 Marion Rd SE in Turner, 7:30 am–3:30 pm
    • 13th Street Nursery, 1298 13th Street SE, Salem, Tuesday–Saturday 9 am–6 pm, Sunday 10 am–4 pm
  • Southern Oregon Strong Fire Relief Fund
    NewsWatch 12 is partnering with the American Red Cross to support those impacted by the wildfires burning in Oregon. Donations support the work the Red Cross is providing to families that have been affected by the wildfires in Oregon. Your support helps the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. Your generous donations make it possible for the Red Cross to provide food, water, showers, first aid and emotional support to our neighbors in need.
  • United Way

Volunteer Opportunities


If you would like to add to this list, especially for local organizations and efforts, please contact Karla Holland at the AGC office.

Santiam Rebuild Coalition

The SRC is focused on working with local groups to physically rebuild the communities, businesses, and homes in the Santiam Canyon and damaged portions of Marion County. Anyone interested in working with SEDCOR on the coalition, please contact Nick Harville, nharville@sedcor.com or 503-837-1804.


Other Volunteer Opportunities

Members in the News


Behind the Firelines, the Race to Save Scotts Mills

Oregonlive, September 14
Great job AGC members  K&E Excavating (Kerry Kuenzi and Scott Kuenzi), and D&T Excavation!