According to a new report, Oregonians have lost almost $1 billion in homes and contents during the month’s wildfires. More than 4,000 residences have been damaged or destroyed and more than 1 million acres of forestland have been burned. An analysis written by Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, said the homes and personal property destroyed are only the initial calculation of what the state lost. The wildfires damaged the state’s outdoor recreation industry, its timber sector and the state’s image as a healthy, active place to live – and those effects may be felt for years to come. Lehner went onto say, “What makes this year’s fires different is the fact that they were/are much closer to cities and towns than in recent years. We’re not only losing timber and recreation areas; we’re losing structures and towns and evacuating tens of thousands of Oregonians.” In similar wildfires in the past, Lehner found that insurance typically only covers about 75% of what residents lose. The report makes no attempt to calculate the value of what the timber and outdoor recreation sectors lost but concludes that Oregon’s forests account for 2% to 3% of the state’s economy. Outdoor recreation may account of another 0.5%.
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Oregon wildfires burned $1 billion in homes and belongings last month, new tally finds