Wyden, Merkley seek federal disaster declaration for Sherman, Wasco and Jefferson counties

Oregon senators’ request comes in the wake of devastating wildfires


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to designate Sherman, Wasco and Jefferson counties as agricultural disaster areas in the wake of recent wildfires.

The Oregon senators’ request came in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of the same request by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.


“As you are well aware, having worked with us over the years on wildfire funding, the effects of fires can be devastating on these rural landscapes and deliver a significant economic blow to rural agricultural producers and businesses,” Wyden and Merkley wrote. “Fires are still raging in Oregon, on public and private lands, with dedicated volunteers and fire crews working diligently to protect life and property.


“The full tally of losses related to these fires, including the Substation and Long Hollow Fires in Wasco and Sherman counties that have burned more than 100,000 acres, has yet to be compiled,” they wrote.  “The Secretarial Disaster Designation will allow farmers and local businesses to apply for emergency loans, insurance relief and other assistance.” 

In addition to today’s letter, Wyden and Merkley have joined recently with the governor to ask Perdue to make some of the $12 billion promised American farmers in trade war relief also available to Oregon farmers devastated by recent wildfires. And they also have requested that Perdue provide emergency assistance for Oregon farmers whose crops have been decimated by this summer’s wildland fires.

Full text of today’s letter is here.