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Wrapping up the damage assessment on Echo Mountain and other fires…

Civil Air Patrol reconnaissance aircraft

SALEM –  As smoke clears from western Oregon, Civil Air Patrol is sending pilots and specially trained aircrews to assist in efforts to recover from devastating wildfires again today.

CAP is tasked with photographing key infrastructure from the air to help assess fire damage. Aircrews have a mission pilot, an observer and an airborne photographer and are taking on assignments over the Archie, Beavercreek and Echo Mountain wildfires.  

“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the fires,” said Brig. Gen. William D. Betts, vice commander, 1st Air Force. “We are confident in the skills of these selfless, dedicated CAP volunteers who contribute so much to both the local community response and the wider federal effort.”

Using high-resolution digital cameras, the CAP aircrews produced more than 900 images Sept. 19th for emergency operations. Eight flights were flown Friday and five Saturday as smoke cleared and showers dissipated. CAP pilots still face tricky conditions in some areas with smoke, low clouds and aircraft not involved in the organized efforts.

CAP planes based in Hillsboro, Redmond and Salem as well as Vancouver, Washington participated in the fly-overs. More than 36 CAP volunteers have organized the flying and recording activities.

At last count, the Oregon Wing has 290 adult volunteers who train vigorously each year to take on emergencies like the unprecedented onslaught of wildfires that have burned more than 1 million acres this year and thousands of structures and displaced huge numbers of Oregonians. The wing also has 247 young cadet members, who train in leadership, character development, physical fitness and citizenship. Many cadets train in emergency services as well and participate in ground search and rescue and detecting emergency signals emitted by aircraft in distress.

Squadron locations and contact information can be found at https://orwg.cap.gov.

At least it’s the end of the beginning. Lots of work standing tall on the horizon…

Oregon Department of Forestry, North Lincoln Fire & Rescue and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office have removed the Level 3 evacuation to allow property owners and residents to return to the area permanently.

The initial damage assessment has been completed. Road and utility safety concerns have been mitigated, though utility services will be working in the area for several more days.   Be aware that utility outages may occur for several more days as water, gas and power repairs continue.

A multi-agency resource center offering county community services will begin tomorrow.  Watch local news sources, website, and Lincoln Alerts for more information in the next few hours.  If you need transportation to return home, please contact the call center.

Any additional questions can be forwarded to the Lincoln County Emergency Public Information Call Center at 541-265-0621, www.co.lincoln.or.us/echomountainfire.

Fire Damage and Recovery information is available on our Echo Mtn Fire Complex website.

Laura Furgurson and her Chambers of Commerce present…

Activities in September

. Between September 19-30 be sure to visit local participating restaurants for Salmon Specials

o Please see and share attached list

. Trollers Lodge and Whale Inn are offering a 10% discount for September 19-30 bookings

o When booking online at pacificviewlodging.com or calling our reservation number (833)722-8439 guests can ask for the “SALMON” discount or use the Coupon Code “SALMON” when completing a reservation online.

Laura Furgurson
Executive Director
Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce

Office: 541-765-2889
Fax: 541-765-2836
Cell: 541-815-0400

Latest Covid tally…

Oregon reports 295 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 0 new deaths

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed five more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 525, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 266 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 30,599. The new cases  reported today are in the following counties: Benton (27), Clackamas (14), Clatsop (3), Columbia (2), Curry (1), Deschutes (16), Douglas (6), Jackson (13), Jefferson (6), Josephine (3), Klamath (4), Lane (11), Lincoln (2), Linn (4), Malheur (22), Marion (40), Morrow (1), Multnomah (40), Polk (8), Umatilla (10), Wasco (1), Washington (23), and Yamhill (9).

Note: OHA double counted a death on Sept. 4 that was originally recorded on July 24. The duplication occurred because of an incorrectly reported date of birth. Because of this error we are renumbering our reported deaths starting with 521 today.

Oregon’s 521st COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old woman in Lane County who tested positive on Aug. 26 and died on Sept. 17, in her residence. She had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 522nd COVID-19 death is a 72-year-old woman in Jackson County who tested positive on Aug. 28 and died on Sept. 15, at Providence Medford Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 523rd COVID-19 death is an 81-year-old man in Morrow County who tested positive on Sept. 4 and died on Sept.14. Location of death is being confirmed. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 524th COVID-19 death is a 97-year-old-woman in Marion County who died on May 10. The death certificate listed COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 525th COVID-19 death is an 86-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on Aug. 16 and died on Sept.16 in his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.

See table below for total cases, deaths, and negative tests by county.

County Cases (1) Total deaths (2) Negative tests (3)
Baker 90 2 1,532
Benton 279 6 12,096
Clackamas 2,237 61 56,699
Clatsop 113 0 5,281
Columbia 150 1 6,599
Coos 136 0 6,385
Crook 60 1 2,460
Curry 27 0 1,689
Deschutes 760 12 27,956
Douglas 206 3 12,126
Gilliam 7 0 264
Grant 8 0 857
Harney 12 0 759
Hood River 241 0 4,758
Jackson 1,034 4 31,655
Jefferson 511 8 4,490
Josephine 183 2 11,263
Klamath 272 2 9,806
Lake 28 0 855
Lane 944 15 60,022
Lincoln 472 13 8,409
Linn 458 13 15,566
Malheur 1,512 23 4,790
Marion 4,427 89 45,143
Morrow 485 6 1,678
Multnomah 6,779 130 133,105
Polk 501 15 8,399
Sherman 18 0 326
Tillamook 48 0 2,904
Umatilla 2,905 41 12,651
Union 435 2 3,416
Wallowa 28 1 927
Wasco 234 3 4,701
Washington 4,264 58 87,235
Wheeler 0 0 159
Yamhill 735 14 16,350
Total 30,599 525 603,311

1 – This includes cases confirmed by diagnostic testing and presumptive cases. Presumptive cases are those without a positive diagnostic test who present COVID-19-like symptoms and had close contact with a confirmed case. County of residence for cases may change as new information becomes available. If changes occur, we will update our counts accordingly.

2 – For additional details on individuals who have died from COVID-19 in Oregon, please refer to our press releases.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed on…

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Our hearts are shattered. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a hero in every sense of the word. Her loss is devastating, and there are no words that adequately express the sorrow or fear that our nation is feeling as we mourn her together.

Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer for so many women, including me. She was a giant and a pioneer in the fight against discrimination. She was tough as nails, and she spent her life leading with strength, courage and faith.

There was no barrier too strong and no setback too great in the fight for equality and justice. She overcame sexism and anti-semitism throughout her entire life. But despite it all, she persisted. She was relentless and revolutionary in her unwavering commitment to the Constitution and her pursuit of equality and justice for all Americans.

Justice Ginsburg said she “would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”

If she taught us anything, it is to keep up the fight. We take strength and comfort in her words and in her example. And most of all in her unrelenting fight to better our country. She showed us why we must never give up.

Her rest is earned. It’s our time to fight.

Tiffany Muller

Important message from Lincoln County Schools….

SUPERINTENDENT COMMUNITY AND STAFF UPDATE

Dear Lincoln County SD Staff, Families, Community and Friends,

The following is an update from the Superintendent. A lot has happened since my last update. I wish I could say it was good but it wasn’t. We are making it through but it has been a crisis on top of a crisis and not easy for our communities. As is usual for the Lincoln County Community, people came together to help one another, keep each other safe, and try as hard as we can to keep moving forward.

Please read the following update:

WildFire-The aftermath of the wildfires for our school district is that several homes were lost to staff and students, in particular those living in the Panther Creek/Otis area. Families have been connected with the American Red Cross and are looking for temporary shelter. The county should begin allowing people back to the affected areas soon to survey the damage and livability of their homes. We are looking to assist families by connecting them to resources and information on our district and school home pages. Here is a HUB of vetted resources that will be updated daily: https://lincoln.k12.or.us/wildfire-support-resources/. We are also looking for places in town that can help our kids have a space to study while they are in temporary shelters. Churches and businesses that can house some “learning centers” for our kids would be great. We provide the tech and the helpers if you can provide the space and the wifi. Just contact LCSD if you can help.

School and Metrics-Lincoln County has met the state-defined measures for reopening our schools for limited in-person instruction. In fact, because the state’s COVID numbers are low (below the 5% positivity rate), the district is close to reaching the metrics for reopening K-12 in a hybrid model (2 days in schools and 3 days online). We are being cautious and waiting a few more weeks to see if the numbers continue to stay low because of Labor Day weekend and because of some evacuation shelters that had large numbers of people together. Please stay tuned because it is looking like LCSD will be opening for limited in-person instruction fairly soon following all of the Blueprint for Reopening requirements.

We will start with kindergarten. With few exceptions, our teachers are back in their schools and doing a lot of professional development and planning. They are being careful and following all of the COVID protocols. School for elementary students begins Sept 21-25 with “getting to know you” meetings between teachers and families and then elementary virtual school aka comprehensive distance learning education with LCSD teachers Monday, Sept 28. Secondary students comprehensive distance learning starts Monday, Sept 21. Edmentum, our fully online program run by an administrator, Zach Lillebo, begins K-12 Monday, Sept 21. There are more Edmentum orientations this Thursday and Friday in English and in Spanish (pushed back from last week). Please consult the district web page for zoom links and times.

School-Aged Child Care (new)- While the exact dates for new child care for school-aged children are not yet known, we are hopeful that by Monday, October 12 we will have the following childcare available, with priority going to Essential Staff including our LCSD staff:
Lincoln City Parks and Recreation: 20 slots for kids ages 5-11 from 8 am to 6 pm with a combination of LCSD staff (8 am-12 pm) and LCPR staff (12 pm-6 pm). Watch for the ads and how to enroll.

Newport Parks and Recreation: between 30-40 slots for school-aged kids. Not sure the ages yet. They will let us know when ready to open. May have to wait until we hit Phase 2 on September 28.
Toledo Public Library:10-15 slots. The City of Toledo is graciously partnering with LCSD to let us use their downstairs classroom. It is 700 square feet and has outside entry and exit. The park is across the street. LCSD provides all tech and meals. Our agreement is being inked next week. They have been great!

OCCC Waldport Location: OCCC and LCSD are meeting next week to create an agreement for LCSD to use their Waldport site. This will house 15-20 school-aged kids. LCSD provides all tech and meals.

PLEASE WATCH FOR ADS AND ENROLLMENT INFORMATION. THIS WILL BE FIRST COME FIRST SERVE SO PLEASE BE WATCHING. AGAIN, WE WANT THE PRIORITY TO BE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS INCLUDING LCSD STAFF.

Sports Season 1- To begin Monday, October 12 (fingers crossed). Since we expect to have some limited in-person instruction requirements met by Monday, October 12 we can open for Season 1 sports. This is for speed and agility camps. Watch for information from your schools on registration procedures and don’t forget to contact your medical provider so that you have a current physical. We will begin to open our facilities for our own district use slowly and carefully. This will require full athletic registration. We will need more room as a district because we have to go to much smaller cohort numbers. We will open to third parties as soon as we can. This may include playgrounds. We also are in continued conversation to provide free golf opportunities to all 7-12th grade LCSD students and look forward to starting this season with our community golf course partners soon.

Registration- We need people to register their kids for school. We are offering Comprehensive Distance Learning with an LCSD teacher. This is 5 days a week with live/online and recorded/offline learning. We are also offering a fully online program K-12 called Edmentum. We provide all technology. We can also provide wifi hotspots. If you aren’t doing one of those, you cannot, at this time, enroll in an online charter school outside our district as we have reached our 3% cap. You can enroll in the LBLESD Home School program where you do everything yourself or a private school but you need to enroll your children in education. Oregon has a Compulsory Attendance law which requires kids ages 6-18 to attend school. PLEASE ENROLL HERE NOW: LCSD Registration

Meals- Families in Lincoln County with children aged 0-18 are once again eligible to receive FREE breakfast and lunch for each child daily. Youth are able to participate in this meal service once per weekday at a bus delivery stop or curbside pickup site in their local area. This started Monday, September 14. Each Friday, families picking up meals will also receive Breakfast and Lunch for Saturday and Sunday. LCSD will be offering three meals per day (including dinner) with regular service starting next week on Monday, September 21.

All kids qualify and there is NO cost. Please see the district web page for curbside locations and bus routes.

Tech-Tech checkouts are this week at your child’s school. PLEASE look at your school’s website for details. You can just call the school and then schedule a time to come get your child’s technology. Our district is 1 to1. Every child gets a Chromebook. We can also help with Wifi if you have issues with the internet. Just let us know.

That’s it for now. Please watch for more LCSD news on our website and Facebook or Twitter pages. Also, watch for REMIND texts.

Take Care and Stay Safe.

Karen Gray
Superintendent
LCSD

Correction to an earlier story about Samaritan Hospital Lincoln City

NewsLincolnCounty.com wants to correct an error made by someone who claimed that Samaritan Hospital closed temporarily due to the big fires…one of which was bearing down on the northeast corner of Lincoln City. 

The claim was that since the hospital didn’t have a back up electricity generator they had to temporarily close their doors.  News Lincoln County just received a very pointed correction revealing that the hospital always had emergency back-up power.  The closure of the hospital was out of an abundance of caution as the Echo Mountain fire was bearing down on Lincoln City – not because of a lack of back-up electrical power. 

Here’s the quote from the hospital: 

Some are saying that we evacuated patients and staff from our incredible new hospital because we have no generator. That is very far from the truth. In fact, this hospital has an abundance of means to support our medical, technical and utility systems which allowed us to provide care safely and effectively throughout the power outages related to the windstorm and wildfires. Our community is blessed to have this facility!   
News Lincoln County regrets the misinformation.

LCSO – Echo Mountain Fire Evacuation Level Removed – 50th Street and Highland

LCSO – Echo Mountain Fire Evacuation Level Removed – 50th Street and Highland

This is an emergency notice from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office regarding the Echo Mountain Fire Complex evacuation levels with new downgrades and removals.  Please review the updated evacuation map on the Echo Mtn Fire Website at www.co.lincoln.or.us/echomountainfire.

The following areas have been removed from the evacuation levels:

  • NE 50th Street
  • NE Highland Road

If you need transportation back to your home, you can call the County Call Center at 541-265-0621 (after 8am) for coordination.

Cautionary Re-entry Information:

  • It is always advisable to do a safety check of your home and property when you return.
  • While power has been restored to this area, you may experience some intermittent power disruption over the next few days. 
  • North Lincoln Sanitary will resume your normal pick up day for garbage service.
  • Be cautious when driving in this area as many utility crews are still clearing vulnerable trees and restoring services.

Any additional questions can be forwarded to the Lincoln County Emergency Public Information Call Center at 541-265-0621, www.co.lincoln.or.us/echomountainfire.

Continue to monitor local media sources, county website and your telephone devices to receive further information and updates. 

Fire Damage and Recovery information is available on our Echo Mtn Fire Complex website.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office
541-265-0621 
www.co.lincoln.or.us/echomountainfire

Wyden, Manchin, Cantwell Introduce Legislation to Help Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires

Wildfire near Eugene

New Wyden-Manchin-Cantwell bill would support pre-fire season controlled burns as an essential, science-based strategy for reducing hazardous fuels to mitigate the worst effects of wildfires

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., today introduced legislation to help prevent the blistering and destructive infernos destroying homes, businesses and livelihoods and becoming all too common as the climate crisis grows.

The National Prescribed Fire Act of 2020 would support pre-fire season controlled burns as an essential, science-based strategy for reducing hazardous fuels to mitigate the worst effects of wildfire. The legislation would increase the pace and scale of controlled burns, create a technically skilled preseason controlled burn workforce, and give states more flexibility to regulate controlled burns in winter months to reduce catastrophic fires and dangerous smoke in the summer. 

“The disastrous infernos in Oregon and across the West have leveled entire communities to ash, and left Oregonians choking on dangerous smoke. If this isn’t a wakeup call for Congress to act on climate and invest more in smarter, science-based fire management, I don’t know what is,” Wyden said. “Good forest science is good climate science. Burning more when it’s safe in the off seasons will save us a lot later by preventing catastrophe in the summer and fall.”

“Wildfires are increasing in intensity, size and frequency; and the country is in need of a better approach to mitigate their devastating impacts.  We have already seen several catastrophic fires across the country this year, particularly in California where over three million acres have burned. We are seeing the results of not being proactive enough,” Manchin said. “As Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will always work to ensure proper maintenance and conservation of our public lands, in part because it can saves lives and help reduce the losses that our country experiences from these natural disasters. That is why I helped to introduce this bill today. This legislation is a much-needed solution, and the tools and funding provided will ensure that we can better avoid these all-too-common, destructive wildfires.”

“Prescribed burns can improve the health of our forests and lands, mitigate wildfire risks, and allow for communities to plan for smoke events,” Cantwell said. “This bill will more than double funding for controlled burns that reduce hazardous, wildfire-starter fuels and makes it easier for federal and state officials to conduct burns by reducing burdensome requirements to burn outside the fire season. These tools will help reduce dangerous smoke and keep communities safe.”

In 2018, the Forest Service determined that 234 million acres of forest are at a high risk of dangerous wildfires. Yet, controlled burns treated only 3 million acres annually during the last decade. Federal land managers should be equipped to get ahead of the problem, especially as the climate crisis worsens. Unfortunately, because vegetation grows continuously, the Forest Service will never be able to address the current hazardous fuels backlog at its current pace. Moreover, controlled burns, on average, emit one-fifth of the smoke of wildfires. 

The National Prescribed Fire Act of 2020:

  • Establishes $300 million accounts for both the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior (DOI) to plan, prepare, and conduct controlled burns on federal, state, and private lands. 
  • Requires the Forest Service and DOI to increase the number of acres treated with controlled burns.
  • Establishes a $10 million collaborative program, based on the successful Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, to implement controlled burns on county, state and private land at high risk of burning in a wildfire. 
  • Establishes an incentive program to provide funding to state, county, and federal agencies for any large-scale controlled burn. 
  • Establishes a workforce development program at the Forest Service and DOI to develop, train, and hire prescribed fire practitioners, and establishes employment programs for Tribes, veterans, women, and those formerly incarcerated.
  • Requires state air quality agencies to use current laws and regulations to allow larger controlled burns, and give states more flexibility in winter months to conduct controlled burns that reduce catastrophic smoke events in the summer.

A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.

 

Another senseless, as well as illegal killing of wildlife…

Poachers strike again…
OSP photo

The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help locating the person(s) responsible for the unlawful killing of a spike bull elk and cow elk in Lincoln County.

On Sunday, August 23, 2020, a Newport OSP Fish and Wildlife Trooper discovered a deceased spike bull and cow elk.

The elk were located on the USFS 5390 road just outside of Waldport.

The cow elk was left to waste with no meat removed from the carcass and was not salvageable.  Most of the meat had been taken from the spike elk.   

The elk were most likely shot the evening prior – Saturday, August 22, 2020.

OSP is asking anyone who was in the area or anyone who may have information on the suspect(s) to call the TIP line at 1-800-452-7888 or dial *OSP or by email TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM – 5:00PM)

Free Facemasks and Gloves for Small Businesses

Facemasks now REQUIRED everywhere in Oregon

Governor Brown Announces Free Masks and Gloves for Small Businesses

Governor Brown has announced a new program to provide masks and gloves to small business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor, in partnership with the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board, allocated $10 million from the federal CARES Act funding for the purchase of protective supplies. The state of Oregon is fulfilling orders at no charge until resources are depleted.

“We want our businesses to be able to operate in the safest manner possible right now so that we can get out of this health crisis, and get them back to full operations,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Our small businesses are the hardest hit, so we want to help them get the tools they need at no cost to them.”

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. Business Oregon — the state’s economic development agency — and the Department of Administrative Services are collaborating to create the order and distribution process. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees will receive a box of 200 gloves and 100 masks, with larger businesses receiving up to 500 masks and 800 gloves. For now, businesses are limited to one order, with additional orders possible at a later date depending on availability.

In addition to the small business program, the Early Learning Division (ELD) is providing supplies such as gloves, disinfecting wipes, masks and more to child care providers around the state as part of the effort. The Governor set aside $1.3 million from the federal Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund to purchase supplies for this critical service. Child care providers have been operating under emergency conditions since March and are following increased safety and health guidelines. Child care providers approved by ELD to operate Emergency Child Care are eligible to order supplies and will need a license/provider number to do so.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, child care providers have been doing critical work to support families and other businesses in Oregon,” said ELD Director Miriam Calderon, “These items will help providers continue operating with a focus on safety for children, parents and their staff.”

The order form is online and is now accepting orders. Businesses and child care providers can access the form here: https://supplyconnector.org/states/oregon/free-ppe/

Casey Miller
Public Information Officer
Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

541.265.0211

541.961.1627
clmiller@co.lincoln.or.us

You’ve been exposed to Covid-19…Now what do you do when your boss says “no paid leave.”

Covid-19 Virus Update

Do you have to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19, but don’t have paid time off?
There’s help!

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program is available to people who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 exposure or are experiencing symptoms and need a medical diagnosis, but do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave (or do not have access to COVID-19-related paid time off).

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you will get a $120 per-day payment, up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time you need to quarantine or isolate.

To see if you are eligible, take this quiz or see the requirements below.

Read the instructions for help completing the application.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, you must meet all the following requirements:

Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected or have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
Are not applying for unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
Are not applying for workers’ compensation benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.
Can claim only one quarantine period.

People!! KEEP YOUR DRONES ON THE GROUND in active fire areas!!!

Drone is at the same altitude and way too close…

Oregon fire officials are expecting that as visibility improves, a large number of helicopters and planes will soon take flight and start engaging on the many wildfires in the state. They are asking drone enthusiasts to not fly their equipment while skies over Oregon are so busy.

“We’re looking to Oregonians statewide to help us make the most of these resources and ensure our people stay safe by keeping their personal drones on the ground. If you fly, we can’t,” said ODF’s Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe.

Grafe said two key ways firefighters use aviation assets is to actively fight fires using water and retardant drops and to provide an aerial view of the fires, especially hidden hot spots that need extinguishing.

“That aerial view informs our operational decisions and helps us provide accurate information about fire perimeters and activities to the public,” Grafe said.

State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said:, “We appreciate the cooperation from drone hobbyists. By keeping their drones on the ground for the time being, we’ll be able to get our helicopters and planes safely in the air fighting fires.”

Poor visibility over the state from the heavy smoke has prevented firefighting aircraft from fully engaging on wildfires. With forecasts calling for clearer skies in coming days, fire officials say the public should expect to see many more planes and helicopters in and around wildfires, sources of water and airstrips.

Governor Brown goes after racism….

Governor Brown taking on racism in Oregon…

Governor Kate Brown Convenes First Racial Justice Council Meeting to Address Systemic Racism in Oregon

“Today, we embark on a process to build an Oregon that we can all love. An Oregon where we can all be loved and respected.” 

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown convened the first meeting of the Racial Justice Council to address systemic racism in Oregon. In response to Oregonians’ clarion call for racial justice, police accountability, and the recognition that Black Lives Matter, Governor Brown formed the council to take action in advancing anti-racist policies for Oregon.

“This week, as we brace for the impacts of a once in a lifetime wildfire season, we are amidst a global pandemic that has sickened and killed Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and other communities of color at disproportionate rates,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Racism and racial disparities impact every part of our culture and our economy. The pandemic and the fires have further exacerbated these disparities. We know that most Oregonians are feeling the impacts of wind, fires, and the pandemic, but the effects are not felt equally.”

Governor Brown went on to recognize the contributions and advocacy of members of the Council, as well as thousands of Oregonians who have raised their voices in pursuit of racial justice and criminal justice reform following the murder of George Floyd.

“In honor of the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others, we must center racial equity as we build the state budget and develop our 2021 legislative agenda,” Governor Brown added. “As we recruit and promote people in state agencies. And our boards and commissions. In the very structures of state government.”

“Today, we embark on a process to build an Oregon that we can all love. An Oregon where we can all be loved and respected. As we reshape our state budget, we must support the communities currently experiencing crisis. We must ensure a better future, by focusing necessary recovery measures around racial equity and inclusion.”

The Council is an advisory group to the Governor with subgroups focused on criminal justice reform and police accountability, health equity, economic opportunity, housing and homelessness, environmental equity, and education. The council will provide principles and recommendations that center racial justice and economic recovery to the Governor to inform the 2021-2023 Governor’s Recommended Budget and legislative agenda.

The agenda for the first racial justice council meeting can be found here.

The Racial Justice Council website, including a council member list can be found here.

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks can be found here.

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