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Trump issues disaster declaration for Oregon due to deadly wildfires

The major disaster declaration allows a range of federal help for people and public infrastructure affected by the blazes.

SALEM, Ore. — President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for Oregon due to the deadly wildfires that have burned across the state and federal officials have also declared a public health emergency as dangerous, smoky conditions continue.

The major disaster declaration, issued late Tuesday, allows a range of federal help for people and public infrastructure affected by the blazes. The public health emergency declaration will give hospitals and other organizations in the state more flexibility to meet the needs of people who are on Medicare and Medicaid.

“Oregon is resilient, but to fight fires on this scale, we need all the help we can get,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “I am grateful for the White House’s swift response in quickly granting a Presidential Disaster Declaration and the immediate implementation of FEMA’s individual assistance program, which will help bring additional relief to Oregonians impacted by the devastation of these fires.” 

People who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by registering online or calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. Affected Oregonians are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Wildfires raging across the state have burned about 1 million acres. At least eight people have been killed.

And authorities say more than 1,616 residences have also been destroyed by the blazes and 1,461 other structures decimated.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Fires burning in Oregon and Washington