Wyden and Merkley: “We’ve got the money to fight the fires – but we need a change in the way we pay for the fight.”
Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Thursday that they and other senators have successfully convinced the Congress to come up with the money to help Oregon cover the horrendous costs of fighting the devastating wildfires that have been burning in Oregon all summer. It’s been the worst wildfire season in the history of the state.
The legislation passed the U.S. Senate Thursday with overwhelming bipartisan support, the senators said in a joint news release:
“Oregon is on fire. This is a frightening time for our communities, and they deserve to know that they will have the resources and support they need to fight these fires all the way through to the end of the season,” said Merkley. “Passing this wildfire funding is a huge step forward, but there’s more to do. We won’t stop fighting until Oregon has all of the resources it needs to confront and recover from this ongoing disaster.”
“When Oregon’s skies are glowing orange at night from wildfires and families are forced to evacuate their homes, our state and the West need money to fight these fires now,” said Wyden. “I am glad the Senate has heeded our call to provide some help for the short-term. I am also pulling out all the stops to fight for our bipartisan, long-term wildfire funding solution that tackles the skyrocketing cost of fighting fires and ends the backwards cycle that shortchanges wildfire prevention every year. These fires are getting hotter, bigger and tougher to fight. Congress needs to step up and treat these infernos like the natural disasters they are.”