Governor Brown extends wildfire emergency for counties recovering from September fires
SALEM, Oregon – Governor Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that she had prolonged the state of emergency which began in late August, as a number of counties continue their recovery efforts after the devastating fires in September.
Brown said the extension is intended to support the response in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion and Tillamook counties, allowing the Oregon Emergency Management Office to continue offering Resource.
“The devastation felt by thousands of Oregon residents across our state from the wildfires is difficult to understand, and I remain firmly committed to recovering and rebuilding,” Governor Brown said. “Although the wildfires have been largely contained, the recovery work in the affected counties is only just beginning and there is a long way to go. We will do everything in our power and in coordination with federal and local authorities to rebuild a stronger Oregon.
“I want to thank local, state and federal officials, as well as all community organizations and private sector partners, who continue to support affected families. Our collective reconstruction efforts will require strong partnerships at all levels for the long term. But we can do it together.
The emergency declaration supports the State Emergency Coordination Center, suspends certain administrative rules that would hinder the resumption of forest fires, and maintains the “Disaster Governor’s Office and the Fire Economic Recovery Board of forest ”active. It also allows the state’s Department of Transportation to hire workers for debris cleanup – the removal of dangerous trees, ash and destroyed structures.
The governor’s office said Brown will keep the emergency in effect until she determines state agencies can support recovery efforts without the need for emergency authority.
Brown first declared a state of emergency statewide on August 20, in anticipation of worsening forest fire conditions. The Almeda and South Obenchain fires broke out less than three weeks later, along with multiple fires in western Oregon – spurred by remarkably dry and windy conditions.