Gov. Jay Inslee today sent a letter to President Biden asking for a major disaster declaration and requesting federal assistance to help survivors recover from damages incurred by wildfires in Spokane County from August 18 to 25. During that time, the Gray and Oregon Road fires killed two people and destroyed more homes than any other fire in state history.
Inslee asked the president to make financial assistance for wildfire survivors available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Individual Assistance program. If approved, the program would provide financial assistance and direct services to eligible individuals and households who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs.
Inslee also requested the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency assist with debris management and disposal, with a focus on preventing debris and contaminants from impacting local waterways.
The letter follows previous steps by the Governor’s Office to assist Spokane County communities with recovery from the August wildfires. Inslee previously made available $2.5 million from his office’s emergency assistance fund to help with individual assistance as well as testing and removal of debris for uninsured homeowners impacted by the fires. Additional funds will also be made available for debris removal from state Department of Commerce emergency response funds. The department will be working with Spokane County officials to determine an amount.