SALEM, Ore. -- Families across Oregon are just trying to pick up the pieces after many lost everything in the wildfires. This includes critical documents that are difficult to replace.
Under Gov. Kate Brown’s Executive Order No. 20-35 that went into effect on Sept. 14, families have a chance to replace some of those documents without being charged.
“For a lot of the evacuees, their work is really just beginning especially for those who lost documentation in the fire,” said Devon Ashbridge with Lane County.
The State will allow up to three certified copies of Oregon vital records for those affected by the wildfires. This rule will remain in effect until March 1, 2021.
Documents include birth, death, marriage, divorce, domestic partnership and dissolution of domestic partnership records.
If you choose to order over the phone, the fees will be refunded to you. If ordering by mail, a fee is not required. You will need to show at least one form of identification. A list can be found here. When ordering, it is essential that you state the reason as “Executive Order 20-35” or “Oregon 2020 Wildfires.”
Marcia Anderson and her husband Carey went back to their Vida property over the weekend, where nothing was left.
“We lost everything,” Anderson said. “Our birth certificates, our birth certificates of our children, our marriage license, my adoption papers, my mom’s death certificate, my dad’s death certificate and my grandmother’s death certificate.”
They also lost their mortgage papers, and several other key records. However, Anderson said they are grateful that the State is extending support.
“I know a lot of people who have lost everything don't have family to reach out to to be able to replace some of the things they lost,” Anderson said. “My heart breaks for them.”
Ashbridge said that the county is providing many resources to those in need right now.
“One of the most important things that folks can do right now, if they have not yet started, is to apply for individual assistance through FEMA," Ashbridge said. "We have information about that on our resources page.”
Lane County’s Multi-Agency Resource Center will be opened back up on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fairgrounds, where more information and assistance can be found.
“We are well aware of how overwhelming this feels to folks who have suffered damage in the fire, and we're really working to help create solutions and bring services together in a way that allows them to get what they need in one location or a small handful of locations versus trying to navigate all of that separately,” Ashbridge said.