City of Talent to receive FEMA funding for wildfire resiliency

TALENT, Ore. – The City of Talent is receiving over $1.1 million in grant money from FEMA.

The money comes from two grants that support wildfire resiliency efforts. One is for Defensible Space and the other is for a Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project.

The announcement came Friday from Oregon U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.

“When the 2020 Labor Day fires broke out, I drove over 600 miles up and down Oregon to meet affected families and see the damage firsthand. The destruction I witnessed was gut-wrenching. Lives were lost, homes and businesses were leveled, and entire communities were destroyed, including Talent,” Merkley said. “These FEMA grants for the city to remove hazardous fuels will help the whole Talent community build a stronger wildfire-resilient future. “

Senator Wyden says the federal funds will help Talent with response, recovery, and rebound.

“I have seen and heard firsthand during my visits with Oregonians in Talent just how devastating these wildfires were for families and small business. And I am gratified this community will get this vital assistance to help it move forward,” Wyden added.

Talent Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood expressed her gratitude to the senators for their support in securing the money.

“Mitigating remaining hazardous fire fuels is a top priority in Talent. This critical funding will ensure significant progress toward that outcome,” said Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, City of Talent.

Here’s a breakdown of how FEMA’s Defensible Space and Hazardous Fuels Reduction grant money will be allocated:

  • $1,038,834.99 to fund the mitigation of wildfires to local residential and commercial infrastructure by reducing the threat to human life and property. This project will be implemented within 2 miles of homes and other structures specifically covering 74.8 acres: 68.98 acres of Bear Creek Greenway; and 5.82 acres Wagner Creek Greenway. This project removes downed, dead, dry, or highly flammable vegetation material in the project area and restores the area with Indigenous vegetation to reduce future hazardous fuel accumulation.
  • $69,250 to fund the City of Talent’s management costs to mitigate wildfire risks to local residential and commercial infrastructure. These funds will be utilized between the end of the City of Talent’s current Fiscal Year 2024 and the end of September 2025.

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