Featured News, Siskiyou, South County

Roseburg Helping Fire Victims

By Shareen Strauss

Regardless of lawsuits in the wake of the destruction of the Weed community of Lincoln Heights from the Mill Fire, Roseburg Forest Products Corporate has stepped up to the plate in its promise to help the fire victims.


Left picture:

These are of what is left of the Planer Building and Shed 17 on the Roseburg Forest Product Plant where the Mill Fire reportedly started from on September 2nd.

This is Pete Hillan with Singer Associates, Inc. spokesperson for Roseburg who has donated $50 million towards helping fire victims of the Sept 2nd Mill Fire.

Roseburg has rented out the Weed Community Center which is next to Lincoln Heights and where the fire began, for interviews.

Roseburg spokesperson, Pete Hillan of Singer Associates, Inc. says that in less than two weeks after the fire that started in Weed, California on September 2nd of this year, the Roseburg Forest Product Corporation has held its promise using the $50 million they have set up to help those that have been affected. They are working with the city and county to rebuild and recover from the damages.

The Weed Relief Fund (weedrelieffund.com) has several purposes.

First, they are providing resources for renters, owners, and evacuees by meeting the immediate needs of the victims to recover the losses of 2,500 people from Weed to Lake Shastina.

They are working with the county's Health and Human Services, Siskiyou County Resource Collaborative, the Red Cross, United Way, and the Office of Emergency Services.

Checking I.D.'s to wean out false claims, they have been providing shelter, transportation, food, clothing, gas, business loss, and helping with the loss of loved ones by giving gift cards, vouchers, and checks.

The Roseburg Forest Products plant has been closed during the investigation by CalFire which is still in progress. All of its 140 employees are being compensated while off work.

Hillan says, "Roseberg has been a long-time part of the Weed community. They have been here for 39 years and we know what we mean to the City of Weed."

Hillan explains that the Planer building and Shed 17 were both on cement blocks where they stored the ash. The company-generated energy from wood waste and stored the ash from the plant that goes to Shed 17. Machinery was stored in the Planer building. They have yet to figure out the cost of their loss.

"The $50 million we felt was enough to cover costs to help

the community take the initial steps to

help people get back on their feet.

The transition now is to provide resources for

the community to rebuild and fully recover."

The Weed Community Center located next to Lincoln Heights and the Roseberg Planer building, both of which were burnt to the ground, is being rented out to accommodate the Weed Relief Fund to interview and process the people in need.

They started with 15 personnel in legal, financial, communication, and IT teams renting most of the building. But now they are down to about half and only utilizing a couple of rooms at the facility.

"I see the stress the community is going through,

but there are these moments that you see

the strength of the community.

It has been great to work with all the folks

and leaders in the community,

like Tim Rundel," says Hillan.

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