Bend: Wildfire refugees can live temporarily on private land

Wildfires

The Oak Park Motel was destroyed after a wildfire spead through the town of Gates, Oregon, September 30, 2020 (Jeff Markham / FEMA)

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Bend City Council has unanimously voted to allow families displaced by the state’s wildfire to park their RVs and trailers temporarily on private land while they rebuild.

The emergency declaration passed Wednesday will take effect immediately. Displaced families must apply to the city and the private property owner must agree to the arrangement.

The policy is modeled on similar ones passed in the towns of Talent, where the wildfires displaced hundreds of families, and nearby Medford.

The temporary mobile housing must have self-contained drinking water and sewage and be designed for temporary human habitation.

More than 1 million acres burned and more than 4,000 homes were destroyed in wildfires stretching from north to south in Oregon starting following a Labor Day windstorm. Officials say more than 2,100 Oregonians remain in shelters.

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