Merkley on wildfires: ‘People lost everything. Everything’


Sen. Merkley spoke with KOIN 6 News via Zoom

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As wildfires continue to rage throughout Oregon, Senator Jeff Merkley said the federal designation of the state as a major disaster will help in a variety of ways, including money, and he’s working to get more National Guard firefighters on the ground.

In a Zoom interview with KOIN 6 News, Merkley provided a first-hand account of what he saw when he drove last weekend between Portland and Medford.

Jacen Sullivan, 14, from Talent, Ore., holds a burned tomato he found in the garden at his burned home in Talent on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, as destructive wildfires devastate the region. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

“It reminded me of the cities that were firebombed in World War 2,” he said. “People lost everything. Everything.”

Merkley urged people directly affected by the fires to call 1.800.621.3362. “That’s what opens the door for people have been impacted,” he said.

He also talked the vote-by-mail issues that have bubbled to the surface this election season and the latest on the coronavirus relief package that is stalled in Congress.

Watch the video for the complete interview.

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