Politicians, head of FEMA visit the Rogue Valley to re-assess Almeda Fire damage

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. — The federal delegation toured the Almeda Fire destruction as a group this morning.
It’s the first time in recent history that the bipartisan group got together in the Rogue Valley.

The men discussed FEMA funding and said the process of cleaning up and rebuilding will be a long one.

The federal legislators say they received all the emergency declarations they were seeking.

“If it takes going into overtime to get the communities the help they need, it’s the reason we’re here, we’re committed to doing that,” said Senator Ron Wyden.

“There’s a lot of concern that rain is gonna come down and put chemicals into the soil and now people might have to remove 6 inches of their soil to rebuild – so there’s that urgency and I realize these things take time,” said Senator Jeff Merkley.

“The emergency declaration was approved in record time,” said Representative Peter DeFazio.

“Continuing to always improve communication, I put together a meeting with FEMA, the state and local officials to help resolve some impasses,” said Representative Greg Walden.

The group says their efforts are a fine example of bipartisan work that can occur, even in an election year.

They say they’re working on the finer details surrounding FEMA funding and that it will take years to get through the clean-up process.

They continue to encourage people affected by the Almeda Fire to apply for FEMA now, through disasterassistance.gov.

You can watch the entire press conference on our KOBI-TV NBC5 Facebook page.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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