Brown issues order to investigate price gouging in wake of wildfire emergency

Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday issued an executive order to hold accountable Oregon lodging properties and other businesses hiking prices to take advantage of people evacuated from their homes due to wildfires.

The order declares “an abnormal market disruption” as a result of the statewide wildfire emergency.

Brown said the order is in response to reports of unusual increases in lodging rates for Oregonians who have evacuated fire areas and concern that the wildfire emergency may prevent ready availability of other essential consumer goods and services.

“During a statewide emergency, it is absolutely unacceptable to price gouge Oregonians who have already been hard hit and are facing devastating loss,” Brown said. “This order empowers the Attorney General and the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate these instances and take appropriate action if businesses are found to be in violation.”

Oregonians who believe they have been subjected to excessive prices for essential consumer goods and services due to this disruption can report these instances to the Oregon Department of Justice through their Consumer Protection hotline at 877-877-9392.

“As wildfires force thousands of Oregonians to abandon their homes, local businesses have stepped up to ensure that families can find essential goods and services at fair prices,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “To any who would take advantage of neighbors in need, the Governor’s order on price gouging is a reminder that the Oregon Department of Justice will stop them in their tracks.”

Oregonians can also visit www.OregonConsumer.gov for more information. The Oregon Department of Justice has the authority to investigate unlawful trade practices.

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