Washington politicians commend federal wildfire relief

Image Credit: Washington Government

OLYMPIA, Wash. — It was recently announced that the Biden Administration is approving Washington state’s Major Disaster Declaration request for nine counties and two tribes impacted by the 2020 wildfires across Eastern Washington.

With this approval, crucial FEMA resources and funding can be allocated to the Central and Eastern Washington locales affected by those natural disasters. The fires raged across the West Coast in early-to-mid September, transforming communities throughout Washington and Oregon.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s 5th Congressional District uploaded a copy of the announcement from the Biden Administration here.

RELATED: Newhouse introduces PHONE Act for survivors of natural disasters

The following counties, listed in alphabetical order, will receive benefits from this decision:

  • Douglas County
  • Franklin County
  • Kittitas County
  • Lincoln County
  • Okanogan County
  • Pend Oreille County
  • Skamania County
  • Whitman County
  • Yakima County

McMorris Rodgers was particularly shaken up after visiting Malden and Pine City.

The biggest fear I heard when I visited was that after the speeches were over and the news cameras were gone, politicians would forget about Malden. I have worked tirelessly since that visit to make sure that didn’t happen and to push to get these communities the relief they so desperately need,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Individuals, families, and businesses in Malden and Pine City are still piecing their lives back together months later. This support is long overdue and I applaud the Biden administration for taking action to approve Governor Inslee’s Disaster Declaration Request.”

She played an influential part in getting the federal government, and specifically the Executive branch, to assist Washingtonians in need. McMorris Rodgers sent letters to former President Donald Trump pleading for federal aid and even spoke with him directly to bring light to the issue.

In following up with the newest President’s Administration on January 22, 2021, McMorris brought Joe Biden’s attention to Eastern and Central Washington, where people are still struggling to pick up the pieces.

RELATED: Washington couple burned in Okanogan Co. wildfire receive special show of support

Gov. Jay Inslee, who made the initial request in September, is also relieved to see Washington receiving the aid it deserves in wake of the ravaging fires that impacted the region.

“This financial assistance will help rebuilding public infrastructure that suffered damage – things like power lines, roadways, fencing around public areas and water and sewage systems,” Gov. Inslee said in a press release on Thursday. “While we are still waiting on approval for our application for individual assistance in Whitman County, which would help private residents who lost homes or suffered property damage in the wildfires, today’s approval for FEMA aid by the White House will help get these communities moving more swiftly toward recovery.”

RELATED: City of Kennewick crews to clean up Zintel Canyon starting Wednesday