Survivors

California fire survivors helping Oregon fire survivors – KGW.com

Summary

The hope is that as fire survivors help each other they will create a network to help future fire survivors.

GATES, Oregon — Wildfire recovery continues to happen across Oregon. While the road is a long one, communities ravaged by fire are banding together to help each other.

On Tuesday, a group of people toured burned areas in the Santiam Canyon. The people in the group came from all walks of life, from California to Oregon.

But the one thing that drew them to the Santiam Can…….

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The hope is that as fire survivors help each other they will create a network to help future fire survivors.

GATES, Oregon — Wildfire recovery continues to happen across Oregon. While the road is a long one, communities ravaged by fire are banding together to help each other.

On Tuesday, a group of people toured burned areas in the Santiam Canyon. The people in the group came from all walks of life, from California to Oregon.

But the one thing that drew them to the Santiam Canyon is something they all have in common.

“In some way, everyone in this group is fire-affected,” said Deana Freres, co-founder of the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund.

Freres helped organize the meeting. The group was made up of nonprofits, community members, as well as representatives from state and federal agencies. Jennifer Gray Thompson, with the California nonprofit, After the Fire, was one of the people in the group.

“I’m the co-founder of an organization called After the Fire. What we do essentially is we help communities navigate wildfires,” said Gray Thompson

The organization is currently working in several fire-affected areas in California and Oregon. Gray Thompson said After the Fire has been to Jackson County in Southern Oregon to help as well. The nonprofit started after northern California’s North Bay fires in 2017 and the people who are part of the organization have either lost their homes to fire or were impacted in some way.

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“We lost 6,000 homes the first night, 9,000 structures overall across four counties,” Gray Thompson said.

The intent of the tour and meeting was to share best practices, make connections, brainstorm ways to speed recovery and think about recovery over the long term as well. Gray Thompson said the aim is to streamline help and support during such large disasters and to give communities a helping hand when dealing with a complicated federal system.

“We made a lot of mistakes and we did a lot of things right,” said Gray Thompson.

Gray Thompson said for future fires, one idea is for groups of people in a community to designate a point person who will be tasked with attending every meeting and disseminating information. If there are issues at any point in the process, they can approach their liaison who can inform decisions makers and organizations that are trying to help.

“It’s a way to filter information through a designated person that the community chooses to have a group of people and have like 40 people who represent 2,000 people, who attend meetings every single week or every other week, and they can also filter information to the public sector and leaders about what’s working, what’s not working,” Gray Thompson said.

Gray Thompson also suggested fire-affected communities strengthen relationships with Indigenous people and work together to …….

Source: https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/wildfire/california-fire-survivors-helping-oregon-survivors/283-ad828ab4-6c3a-444c-bd1f-066faf0a293f