Salem, OR—The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is assisting through the State Emergency Coordination Center multiple counties encountering limited firefighting resources, challenging transportation access, as well as power outages and cellular service interruption.
Local evacuation information may be unclear due to power outages and a quickly changing situation. Stay tuned to trusted social media sources – county emergency management offices, Red Cross Cascades, state agencies such as the State Fire Marshal, Oregon Department Forestry, Oregon Department of Agriculture, etc. If Internet resources are not possible, contact your county sheriff’s department. If possible, check in on family, friends and neighbors to ensure their safety.
Know evaluation level actions and heed them!
• Level 1 – BE READY – Monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs and, in some cases, pets and livestock.
• Level 2 – BE SET – Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. There is significant danger to your area. Be prepared to voluntarily relocate to a Temporary Evacuation Point (TEPO as set up by the Red Cross, or move to family/friends outside of the affected area.
• Level 3 – GO – Leave immediately! Danger to your area is current or imminent. Do not delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.
Several roads are closed in affected fire areas and due to wind storm damage. Check TripCheck (https://www.tripcheck.com/) for the latest information. Additional statewide wildfire information can be found on the State of Oregon Wildfire Dashboard (https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/6329d5e4e13748b9b9f7f33f06a3c376/).
“Life safety is our number one priority,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “Several jurisdictions have already declared a state of emergency. We are working closely with counties and tribes to assist in any and all ways that we can.”
Public Safety Power Shutoffs
PGE implemented a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) (https://portlandgeneral.com/our-company/news-room/news-releases/2020/09-07-2020-portland-general-electric-confirms-plans-for-mt-hood-public-safety) due to hot, dry, and windy conditions for about 5,000 customers located in high fire-risk areas near Mt. Hood. This is a proactive safety outage to help protect people, property and the environment in the face of extreme fire danger conditions and high winds forecast in the area. This is expected to last 24-48 hours.
For additional information about public safety power shutoffs, including a map of the affected area, go to PortlandGeneral.com/wildfire or call 503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818. Real-time information about unplanned outages can be found at PortlandGeneral.com/Outage.
Smoke levels are currently fluctuating between unhealthy for sensitive groups and hazardous in areas closest to fires. Detroit, Florence, Eugene and Chiloquin – are having severe smoke impacts, as are other areas.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.
• Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
• Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
• If smoke levels are hazardous, consider leaving the area.
• Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These can be portable filters or can be installed in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems.
• If you have heart or lung disease or asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
Additional information on wildfire smoke can be found on the Oregon Smoke Blog (https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/).
State Park Closures
State parks that are closed until further notice include Silver Falls, Detroit Lake, North Santiam and Collier (north of Klamath Falls). No entry for any purpose is permitted.
Amid wildfire, smoke and erratic weather, the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant. Face coverings are required in all parts of the state and Oregonians are reminded to maintain social distancing, and wash hands frequently.
This update contains information from other state agency reports.