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The state emergency coordination center will monitor and provide messaging for communities affected by the fires
Salem, OR—Salem, OR - September 5, 2017 - More than a dozen wildfires are currently burning throughout Oregon. Oregon's Office of Emergency Management activated the state Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, to monitor the fires and provide support for local jurisdictions.

The Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County is the largest fire burning in Oregon at this time and the highest priority fire in the nation over the past week. Residents there are still under Level 1 (get ready), Level 2 (get set) and Level 3 (go) evacuations.

The Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area started on Sept. 2, just south of Cascade Locks. Level 3 evacuations, affecting approximately 350 people, have sent area residents to Red Cross shelters at Mt. Hood Community College, 3691 NE 17th Drive in Gresham and at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, immediately across the Columbia River in Stevenson, Wash.

The Hood River County Sheriff (http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/) and Multnomah County Sheriff (https://flashalert.net/id/MCSO/107579?alert=1) are the most reliable sources for the latest evacuation information. Multnomah County Emergency management has set up a joint information center in Troutdale. They may be contacted at multcoJIC@gmail.com.

HOW TO HELP
Financial support to voluntary agencies responding to disasters is the most effective way to help people affected by Oregon's wildfires.
* Cash allows disaster agencies to purchase exactly what is needed.
* Donate to a reputable agency responding to the disaster.

When it comes to material donations, listen carefully to public service announcements for a list of needed items. Do not send physical goods before confirming the need with a relief agency.
* Donate ONLY those things that are requested by officials and bring them to the official designated collection centers.
* Items not needed may go to waste and get in the way of relief efforts.
* It may take a few days to determine what items are needed and to set-up officially designated collection centers to receive them.

Although many people are willing to help by volunteering, do not go to the scene of a disaster.
* The arrival of unexpected volunteers will interfere with response efforts.
* STAY SAFE by volunteering with a reputable agency when there's a call for volunteers.
* Volunteers will be needed most during the recovery phase. Please be patient and WAIT until relief agencies can train you and use your help.

STATEWIDE SMOKE AIR-QUALITY ALERT
Wildfires combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels at times through Friday morning. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Those who are at more risk than others include children, the elderly, those with heart or lung diseases--including asthma. Steps can be taken to protect your health.
* Avoid areas with heavy smoke, if possible.
* If you live in a smoky area and cannot reach an area with less smoke, the best thing to do is to stay inside, and keep the windows and doors closed when smoke levels are heavy. If you have one, run your air conditioner with the fresh air intake valve closed.
* If you have to pass through smoke, keep the windows closed and set your car's air conditioning to recirculate.
* Stay hydrated.
* Follow medical advice or breathing management plans if you have a heart or lung condition. Call your health care provider if your condition gets worse when you are exposed to smoke.

For specific air quality information for your area, visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.

Attachments

Cory Grogan
503-378-3930
Public.info@oem.state.or.us
Paula Negele
503-378-3930
Public.info@oem.state.or.us
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