Update on Fire Recovery Efforts – Imp. Information

MEDFORD, Ore. — KDVR Officials from the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center provided updates on recovery efforts for the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires during a press conference Monday afternoon.

Director John Vial says 4,372 people are currently registered for FEMA assistance.

He says the registration numbers are improving, but there are still concerns about residents not applying for the help they need.

Vial says some residents are worried they’re not eligible for assistance, and therefor don’t apply. He says the services are free to property owners impacted by the fires, so they should take advantage of it.

“It is worth your effort if you have been damaged,” Vial said. “Thus far, to date, FEMA has provided grants through the Individual and Households Program totaling $17,229 million, of which $13,882 million is for housing assistance, and $3.4 million is for other assistance.”

If you still need to register, you can click here.

You can also go to the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) at Central High School.

The official last day to register for FEMA assistance is November 16.

Vial also says Environmental Protection Agency crews are making more progress cleaning up hazardous waste from the fires.

Crews have cleaned up 90% of the waste from properties that were assigned to them.

If you still need help, they can assist you, but you need to submit your Right of Entry form.

Vial says they’ve mailed out 970 forms. However, he says 195 impacted properties haven’t turned them in yet.

He’s urging people to turn them in sooner rather than later.

“We are cautioning people to be careful,” Vial said. “If you wait too long, the cleanup forces will leave town and you will lose your opportunity get your property cleaned up for free.”

If you don’t need assistance from EPA, officials still ask that you sign the Right of Entry form, stating that you’re opting out from those services.

The forms are available here.

Vial says contractors are expected to start removing ash and debris later this month.