Wildfire News & Resources

With a record-breaking number of large fires raging out of control across the state, we do not yet know the extent of the loss of life and property. With the combination of the pandemic conditions of the past seven months and now the wildfires that erupted this past week, it is likely that countless Oregonians will be living and working in uncertainty for many weeks, if not months.

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

Wildfire Safety Information

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.


Governor Kate Brown Announces Two-Week Pause on Social Activities

[November 6] Governor Kate Brown today announced new measures pausing social activities to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in counties where community transmission is on the rise. These pause measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25, for Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, and Umatilla Counties. Based on increasing statewide case counts, as well as increased sporadic case rates in these five counties, the new public health measures to reduce spread are an effort to save lives in Oregon.

Five additional counties––Washington, Baker, Union, Clackamas, and Linn––are close to the COVID-19 thresholds that would necessitate adding them to the Two-Week Pause. The Oregon Health Authority will examine their COVID-19 metrics on Monday to determine if those counties qualify.

“It is alarming that recent high case rates are not linked to any specific outbreaks, but rather reflective of sporadic community spread,” said Governor Brown. “We are seeing in real time how this virus can quickly snowball out of control. This Two-Week Pause is a series of measures and recommendations intended to curb human contact — both through reducing the amount of people we interact with, and the frequency of those encounters. We must stop this virus from spreading. We must preserve our hospital capacity. And we must save lives.”

The Two-Week Pause measures include:

  • Urging all businesses to mandate work from home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Pausing long-term care facility visits that take place indoors to protect staff and residents.
    Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people (including customers and staff) for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six. Continuing to encourage outdoor dining and take out.
  • Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).
  • Limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes those from outside your household, reducing the frequency of those social gatherings (significantly in a two-week period), and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle.

Governor Brown added: “I am also calling on Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package immediately when they return to DC—including another $600 weekly benefit in enhanced Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation—due to the increase of COVID-19 cases and the need for rollbacks both here in Oregon and nationwide.”

The Two-Week Pause is being instituted in counties with a case rate above 200 per 100,000 people over a two-week period, or more than 60 cases over a two-week period for counties with less than 30,000 people. These measures replace the County Watch List process that Governor Brown instituted in July.

Governor Brown’s full remarks are available here.

A link to Governor Brown’s press conference is available here.


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.


Disaster Assistance from SBA

[November 6] If you were denied federal assistance due to wildfire damage, you may still qualify for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Assistance is not limited to business owners; homeowners, renters and private non-profits are also eligible to apply.

Many survivors who register with FEMA are referred to the SBA. If SBA determines they are eligible for a loan, applicants don’t have to accept it, but they should complete the loan application as soon as possible to keep their recovery options open. Those who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be considered for additional FEMA assistance such as personal property replacement, disaster-caused vehicle repair or moving and storage fees.

    • Homeowners may qualify for low-interest loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate.
    • Homeowners and renters may apply for up to $40,000 for personal property losses (contents).
    • Business and nonprofits can apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets.

To be considered, the first step is to apply for federal assistance by registering with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 for TTY) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. PDT, Monday through Friday. Multilingual operators are available. For more information on SBA, visit SBA.gov/disaster, call 800-659-2599 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.


FEMA Wildfire Recovery Update

[November 4]

FEMA Approves Direct Temporary Housing for Jackson, Linn and Marion Counties

At the request of Gov. Kate Brown, FEMA has approved the use of Direct Temporary Housing for Jackson, Linn and Marion counties in Oregon. Direct Temporary Housing is a short-term solution to a long-term plan. The approval partially meets the need for temporary housing solutions following the disastrous wildfires that have raged through the state.

To be eligible, survivors must apply with FEMA and an applicant’s primary residence must be in one of the counties authorized for temporary direct housing. Pre-disaster homeowners whose residence had a FEMA inspection with a verified loss of $17,000 or more may be eligible. Pre-disaster renters whose residences have been determined by FEMA to have received major damage or have been destroyed may be eligible. Survivors do not apply for Direct Housing, rather FEMA makes a determination based on the criteria established for the program then contacts eligible applicants. FEMA offers the type of temporary housing solution based on the household’s needs. Applicants with access and functional needs are prioritized for accessible transportable temporary housing units.

Right of Entry is Required for Debris Pickup Assistance

Did You Know? For wildfire debris removal, property owners must sign a Right of Entry access agreement to allow cleanup crews to enter their private property. The Environmental Protection Agency began working on the cleanup Oct. 19. This is the first step in the cleanup process and must be completed before ash and debris removal.

For information on how to submit a Right of Entry form, visit your county government website or call 682-800-5737. To learn more about hazardous household waste and debris pickup, visit wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup.

Resources for Wildfire Survivors
Free Crisis Counseling is Available

Stress, anxiety and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a major disaster. Free crisis counseling is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline for both children and adults.

For more information about the SAMSHA Disaster Distress Helpline, visit www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline.

For a list of mental health resources in Oregon visit the Oregon Health Authority website.

To view an accessible video about crisis counseling with closed captioning and American Sign Language interpretation click here.

External Outreach Sites Now Open 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday

These sites offer in-person assistance for survivors to get information about their application, ask questions about letters they receive from FEMA, and have their documents scanned to be part of their application. Representatives from FEMA’s Individual Assistance program are available at all sites.

    • FEMA External Outreach Site #1: Central High School, 815 South Oakdale Ave. Medford, Oregon 97501
    • FEMA External Outreach Site #3: Stayton Community Center, 400 W. Virginia St. Stayton, Oregon 97385
    • FEMA External Outreach Site #4: Lincoln Outlet Mall, 1500 S.E East Devils Lake Rd. Suite 200, Lincoln City, Oregon 97367
    • FEMA External Outreach Site #5: Estacada City Hall, 475 S.E. Main St. Estacada, Oregon 97023
    • FEMA External Outreach Site #6: Old Middle School Gym, 301 Glide Loop Rd. Glide, Oregon 97443

View the full update in English

View the full update in Spanish


Wildfire Recovery Update

[November 2] The 2020 Oregon Wildfire Recovery efforts will be conducted in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procedures and requirements, among other contract requirements. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is preparing contracts for hazard tree removal and structural debris removal. Firms bidding on upcoming 2020 Oregon Wildfire Recovery must understand the FEMA requirements and documentation processes. For example, FEMA requires essentially a “cradle to grave” tracking methodology of each tree, log, and slash pile, and their processing to chips and structural debris components, among other items.

ODOT will procure the services of a hazard tree removal and structural debris removal monitoring consultant to address much of the documentation processes. However, contractor firms will need to follow documenting and invoicing processes that are more rigorous then ODOT ORPIN or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Construction Processes. The FEMA documents linked to below may help you understand FEMA requirements and the context in which the 2020 Oregon Wildfire Recovery bidding opportunities will be advertised and awarded. Contractors should research FEMA requirements beyond the references provided below. Katie Kroenlein Hubler, wildfire recovery diversity coordinator, will also be available to provide technical assistance as needed throughout the projects. Katie can be reached at 971-718-6681 or katie.k.hubler@odot.state.or.us.


Oregon OSHA: Employers Urged to Protect Workers by Avoiding Outdoor Work, Following Best Practices as Harmful Air Quality Persists

[Sept 16] State workplace and public health officials are urging employers to stop or delay outdoor work activity where they can and take other reasonable steps to protect workers when air quality reaches the “unhealthy” zone, or worse.

Employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces, and recognizing and addressing hazards to workers—including unsafe air quality that is expected to continue through the weekend, say officials at Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Read more.


Wildfire Smoke Exposure and Construction Workers

[Sept 14] The entire region is dealing with severe air quality issues from the wildfire smoke, and hazardous conditions have been occurring for several days and will continue for several more. Outdoor construction workers are particularly at risk, as they typically are exposed for at least an eight-hour shift and do not always have the ability to get out of the smoke, even if only for a few minutes. Read more or print the document.

 

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.


Oregon Employment Department Now Administering Federal Aid for Wildfire Victims

[October 9] If your employment was directly affected by the recent wildfires and straight-line winds, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a federal program that provides financial benefits to people whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as the direct result of a major disaster. In response to the recent wildfires, the Oregon Employment Department has received approval to administer DUA on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DUA is currently available for Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties.


Fire Recovery Update Webinar

October 15, 1 pm

Marion and Polk County Home Builders Association is presenting a free Zoom webinar with Marion County staff to provide an update and answer questions contractors have as to the status of the clean-up and rebuilding process for fire-burned homes in the Santiam Canyon. Many home builders are already working with property owners on rebuilding plans, and there are many questions on the clean-up and disposal process as well. Contact Mike Erdman for a registration link.


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.


Department of Revenue Outlines Relief for Wildfire Victims

[Sept 30] The Oregon Department of Revenue will provide relief to victims of Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds.

Impacted individuals and households who reside or have a business located in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties are eligible for the relief. Taxpayers in localities added later to the individual assistance disaster areas, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be eligible to receive the same relief.

If you are a victim of Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds, any penalty and interest imposed for late filing or late payment related to due dates that fall on or after September 7, 2020 and before January 15, 2021 will be waived if you file and pay by January 15, 2021. If you receive a billing or adjustment notice from Revenue related to a late filing or late payment caused by a disaster situation, follow the instructions in the notice to request a waiver of penalty and interest.

The Oregon relief applies to all affected taxpayers who are filing any income, payroll, and excise taxes originally due during the relief period. See our website for a list of qualifying tax programs and frequently asked questions.

Copies of past tax records

Affected taxpayers who need to obtain copies of Oregon tax records will be able to receive replacements free of charge. To obtain copies of critical tax records on file with the Oregon Department of Revenue, please call us at 800-356-4222. These records may include copies of prior tax returns filed with the department, information returns such as W-2s and 1099s, and notices that we’ve issued.

Updating taxpayer information

Affected taxpayers may also need to update their account information, such as an address or phone number. Address changes can be made by calling 800-356-4222, logging into Revenue Online, or by filling out and submitting a change of address form on the Revenue website www.oregon.gov/dor.

Regarding collections

Taxpayers should not skip or reduce current payments. Those who are unable to pay their debt in full can resolve outstanding debt and avoid automated collection by arranging a payment agreement with the department. Those unable to comply with their existing payment agreement between now and January 15, 2021 can request a modification to their payment plan by calling the department at least five business days before their payment due date.

Taxpayers can find agency contact information, more tax resources, tools, and COVID-19 or wildfire relief tax information at www.oregon.gov/dor or by calling 800-356-4222 or 503-378-4988.

This relief follows the IRS’s announcement on September 16, 2020 that victims of Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds now have until January 15, 2021 to file and pay various individual and business taxes.

Details on the federal relief can be found at www.irs.gov/newsroom under “Tax Relief in Disaster Situations.”

To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. You also can call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.


Construction Contractors Board and Construction Industry Encourage Oregonians to “Check the License” as Wildfire Rebuild Begins

[Sept 28] The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) and construction industry leaders have a shared message for Oregonians who have had their home or business damaged or destroyed by wildfires: protect your investment – hire licensed contractors. Working with licensed contractors is one of the best ways for Oregon consumers to protect their most valuable investment and avoid common scams. Read more


2020 Oregon Wildfire Response and Recovery – Wildfire Cleanup

[Sept 28] The State of Oregon, in coordination with federal, state and local partners, are working on strategies to address the significant task of fire debris removal. Addressing the fire debris is broken into a two-step process. The first step is clearing properties of household hazardous waste to minimize exposure of hazardous materials to the public. The second step is general debris removal. Read more


Wildfire – Affected Business Information

[Sept 28] The Small Business Navigator provides current information for businesses affected by Covid-19 and wildfires. Call them at 833-604-0880. Additional wildfire-related information can be found at wildfire.oregon.gov.

In response to a federal disaster declaration, the Small Business Administration is accepting applications for federal disaster loans to businesses and private nonprofits in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties. Find more information here.

Affected by wildfire, winds, and smoke? If you’re concerned about your business/nonprofit registry with Secretary of State Corporation Division, just email corporation.division@oregon.gov.


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.


Oregon Wildfire Victims Eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance

[Sept 24] Oregon says it’s ready to begin paying a special class of unemployment benefits to workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours substantially reduced by the wildfires that erupted across the state this month.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits are available only to wildfire victims who don’t qualify for other classes of jobless benefits, including unemployment insurance and new programs Congress established in March to offset the impacts of the pandemic. The Oregon Employment Department indicated this week that is probably a small number of people.

Those who may qualify include people who were unable to reach their jobs because of the wildfires, self-employed workers whose jobs were disrupted by the wildfires and wildfire victims who have exhausted all their other benefits.

Oregon counties approved for the program are Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion.

The employment department is accepting applications online. To qualify, workers must document their eligibility.

While Oregon’s regular phone lines for accepting jobless claims have been largely overwhelmed and unavailable during the pandemic, the employment department set up a separate phone number for wildfire claims and questions: 503-570-5000. From the OregonLive, 9/24/20


SBA Stands Ready to Assist Oregon Businesses and Residents Affected by Wildfires and Straight-line Winds

[Sept 22] Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Oregon businesses and residents as a result of President Trump’s major disaster declaration. The declaration covers Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties as a result of wildfires and straight-line winds that began Sept. 7, 2020.

In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday, Sept. 16, SBA will establish a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide personalized assistance to business owners. In addition, SBA will also open a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Customer Service Representatives will be available to business owners and individuals to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application.

Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Monday – Sunday (7 days/week)
8 am – 8 pm EDT
FOCWAssistance@sba.gov
(800) 659-2955

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.188 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.


Indoor Air Filters Available

[Sept 16] Watts Heating & Cooling in Gladstone has air filters available. Call or text 503-786-2858 for information. Filters can be picked up or delivered for a fee.


Information on How to Vote for Oregonians Displaced by Wildfires

[Sept 15] Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement in response to the wildfires and to ensure all displaced Oregonians are able to receive their ballot and vote this November.

“The families and communities affected by the devastating wildfires across Oregon are in my thoughts and prayers. Our team at Secretary of State stands ready to help both in the immediate response and long-term recovery efforts to come.

For any Oregonians displaced from their home and concerned about voting in the General Election this November, rest assured we have a plan and are working closely with local election officials to ensure you can receive your ballot, vote, and make your voices heard.”

For frequently asked questions, visit oregonvotes.gov/fires.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I receive my ballot if I have been displaced by wildfires?

    1. Ballots will start being mailed October 14. If you know an address where you will be able to receive mail then, you can add a temporary mailing address at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.
    2. If you want, you may also use this paper form to provide us with a temporary address.
    3.  You can pick up all of your mail (including ballots once they are mailed) at the post office that serves your permanent residence address.
    4. Contact your county election office after October 1 for additional options they may have for pickup. Find your county election office here.

If I submit a change of address through USPS, will my ballot be forwarded to the new address?

No. Ballots are unable to be forwarded. It is one of the security features of our system. You must inform election officials of your temporary address using one of the methods above in order to have your ballot sent there.

Do I need to register to vote from my temporary address?

No. You do not need to re-register to vote if you are living somewhere temporarily because you have been displaced by wildfires. You just need to let us know where to mail your ballot by one of the methods above.

Will I be able to vote on the local measures where my permanent address is located, even if I am temporarily living outside that area?

Yes. The ballot you receive will contain the contests for your residential address, not your temporary mailing address.

What if my mailbox was destroyed?

If mail cannot be delivered to your home or mailbox, it will be held at your local post office and you can pick it up there.


Governor Kate Brown Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for the Ongoing Wildfires in Oregon

[Sept 15] Governor Kate Brown today requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the ongoing wildfires in Oregon. The request follows a federal emergency declaration that was granted on September 10, and will bring much needed resources to Oregon’s response and recovery efforts.

“Oregon is strong. Oregon is resilient. But to fight fires of this scale, we need all the help we can get,” said Governor Brown. “I am grateful for this federal support, which will help us to both address urgent disaster response needs on the ground, and move towards recovery.”

The request includes operational response support, such as additional communications resources, damage assessment teams, search and rescue (SAR) support, debris management, as well as shelter and medical assistance. Individual assistance for the counties and tribes was also included in the request.

The letter can be found here and the supporting document can be found here.


Five Insurance Tips for Wildfire Recovery

[Sept 14] The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has five tips for homeowners and renters who have evacuated or been affected by fire, smoke, and ash damage.

Call your insurance company to check your policy. Let your company know if you have evacuated. Coverage is typically available for fire, smoke, and ash damage to your home and personal property.

Ask about your auto coverage, too. You need comprehensive coverage on your auto policy to cover fire, smoke, and ash damage, no matter where your vehicle is located at time of the loss.

If you had to evacuate, save your receipts and, when it is safe, let your insurance company know you evacuated. Your homeowners policy may pay for expenses such as lodging, food, and even pet boarding due to a mandatory evacuation. Be sure to check with your insurance company to confirm your specific coverage.

If you have not evacuated and it is safe to do so, make a quick home inventory by taking photos or video of each room in your home. Pay close attention to what is on the walls and in drawers and closets. Don’t forget storage areas such as the attic and garage. Check your insurance company’s website for an app or checklist that will help. Or use the Insure U Home Inventory Checklist.

If your personal belongings are damaged, the insurance company will request a list of items that are damaged or destroyed. Take some time to work on your home inventory list now. Look through your photos and videos to help recall personal items. Be sure to look for smaller items, such as jewelry. To the best of your ability, write down the age, original cost, and replacement cost of each item.

Following these tips will help save you money, time, and stress during a wildfire. For more information on preparing for a wildfire, visit the division’s wildfire page.

Oregonians that have been forced to evacuate their homes because of area wildfires should contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to let them know they have evacuated and discuss next steps. If you still have questions or concerns, the division’s Advocacy Team is here to help. Call the team at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or visit the website.

 

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!