Malden

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the firestorm that burned most of the Whitman County town of Malden and hundreds of thousands of acres in eastern and central Washington.

Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio

Wildfire aid for Malden was held up by the White House for four months. A new  bill introduced by Cathy McMorris Rodgers could change that.

Here’s an excerpt of a video the congresswoman posted to her website.

“The Malden Act would do three main things – First It requires the president to approve or deny a disaster declaration within 30 days. If the request is not denied within 30 days, it is approved.”

It would also would require FEMA to provide resources to local emergency managers to help with their recovery and prepare them for other future emergencies.

Report On Malden Fire Brings Closure, Questions

May 20, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Residents of the town of Malden in Whitman County finally know the cause of the fire that destroyed their homes last Labor Day, and they say that knowledge has helped them move forward, but also left them with questions.

Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio

Wildfire victims in Malden and Pine City will not receive individual assistance from the federal government to replace the homes or belongings they lost.

Most of the town of Malden was destroyed in a wildfire on Labor Day last year and recovery stalled for months after the Trump administration ignored calls for assistance from both Republicans and Democrats. Last week the Whitman County town was approved for public assistance which will allow them to rebuild public buildings, but was informed today they would not receive individual assistance.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster relief requests for nine eastern Washington counties and two Native tribes impacted by summer wildfires.

Washington’s U.S. senators and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) say they’ve asked President Joe Biden to approve a major disaster declaration for eastern Washington towns that were burned by wildfires last fall. Those include the Whitman County town of Malden, which lost about 80% of its homes.

Then-President Trump never responded to two disaster applications from Governor Inslee.

TVW screenshot

Last fall’s wildfires were invoked Friday at a hearing for a new forest health bill in the Washington legislature.

The bill is proposed at the request of Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who reminded members of a House committee that 2020 was the worst wildfire season in years in Washington.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

On Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee will tour the small eastern Washington farming town of Malden, which was overrun by wildfire on Monday.

He’ll see piles of rubble where buildings sat last week and smell the pungent odor of smoke.

He may also meet one of the men who helped to evacuate the town.