PORTLAND, Oregon — State, local and national leaders gathered at the University of Oregon Saturday to talk about the state's recovery effort after the devastating fires.
"We are doing everything we can to help," said Congressman Peter DeFazio.
Congressman DeFazio and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden were instrumental in getting FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor to visit Oregon this weekend.
“There's nothing like seeing damage up close and personal. It makes a big difference and so I appreciate the hospitality today from the top to the bottom so I can see it, touch it and smell it so that we all desire," Gaynor said.
He also identified top recovery priorities for places affected by wildfires. Those include debris removal, temporary housing for those who lost their home and protecting watersheds.
The group visited Lane County and counties in Southern Oregon Saturday and Lyons, Gates, Detroit and Mill City Sunday before leaving.
Disaster survivors must register with the agency in order to receive assistance. Gaynor says so far FEMA has registered about seven thousand but there are still many more out there.
Cleanup from wildfire and wind damage is set to begin in eight Oregon counties. Both state and federal crews will help dispose of hazardous materials free of charge to property owners. That has to be done before homeowners can start to rebuild. The state has a website people can visit for more information.