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News Releases
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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - April 14 , 2021 (Photo) - 04/14/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for April 14, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here.

Photo Captions:

White City, Ore. - April 1, 2021 - Grass grows and trees bloom at Willow Estates in White City, Ore., where survivors in Jackson County have a temporary place to stay while they recover from the devastation caused by the 2020 Oregon wildfires. Eligible displaced families will be moved into manufactured homes and RV trailers as part of FEMA's direct temporary housing program for wildfire survivors. (Photo by FEMA)
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Oregon Office of Emergency Management Wildfire Recovery Logo: Oregon Rising - Stronger Together.
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With a recent spike in debris fires, it is a good time to get familiar with safe burning practices. (Image courtesy Oregon Department of Forestry)
File: Burning Safety Tips

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Efforts to stabilize Oregon's landscape continue as land management agencies work together toward fire recovery (Photo) - 04/14/21

Efforts to stabilize Oregon’s landscape continue as land management agencies work together toward fire recovery. 
Hazard tree felling helps remove threats as work to recover fire impacted lands continue.

SALEM, Ore. – The devastation from Oregon’s 2020 wildfires left more than a million burned acres across 9 counties. As communities and land managers look toward recovery and restoration, the first critical step is to remove remaining hazards, especially, weakened trees along roadways and popular recreation sites, threatening the safety of people, structures and infrastructure.  

Oregon’s wildfire recovery goals continue to prioritize human life and safety while striving to restore and recover the state’s natural and cultural resources across a broad landscape. Hazard tree removal is a top priority – these dead, dying or fire-weakened trees are likely to fall onto roadways, properties and recreation areas where people travel, live, or gather. Regardless of the jurisdiction, removing this danger is paramount to Oregon’s safe and successful long-term recovery. 

“The 2020 wildfires left behind a scope of damage unlike anything the state has experienced before,” said Andrew Phelps, Director of Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “Ensuring we stabilize the landscape and mitigate risk – both immediate and long-term – is imperative to getting Oregonians home safely, keeping our roadways secure for travel and removing barriers for infrastructure and emergency response functions. I continue to be impressed by the collaboration and partnership among federal, state, public and private partners striving to balance life safety with preserving our state’s natural landscape.”   

The State’s Debris Management Task Force, led by the Oregon Department of Transportation, is primarily focused on removing hazard trees along state highways and public roads near private residences, parks, schools, utilities, and around destroyed home sites.  

Federal and state land management agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, are evaluating and removing hazard trees along roads, trails, parks and other popular recreation sites. 

Certified arborists assess each tree, then mark weakened or dead trees posing a threat to human life and safety following strict criteria and referencing field guides developed by federal and state agencies. The stability and health of a tree is difficult to judge from external damage so every marked tree goes under several rounds of inspections and evaluations from different arborists to avoid conflicting determinations. The goal is to mitigate risk by removing only hazard trees while leaving up as many strong, living trees as possible within the million-acre fire perimeter. 

Close collaboration with fish, wildlife and water quality experts help identify where felled trees can be left for protection of essential drinking water sources and native habitat restoration. Local agencies, communities and environmental partners also help define what recovery could entail, especially as it pertains to community safety and habitat restoration. 

Once hazards are removed and the landscape is stabilized, other recovery and restoration work such as hand planting or aerial reseeding can get safely underway. Post-fire planting usually begins one to two years after a fire, but a national seedling shortage has private landowners struggling to find enough supply for replanting. ODF is working with nurseries and others to increase supplies and fulfill long-range demand as reforestation progresses.  

The 2020 wildfires left behind damage unlike anything the state has experienced before. The road to recovery is long. It will be decades before forests grow back fully. Until then, land managers, communities, recreation enthusiasts and Oregonians will continue working together to restore natural areas and working forests while preserving Oregon’s landscape.  

For general information on the state’s recovery efforts, contact fire.info@state.or.us or visit https://wildfire.oregon.gov/ 

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Primary Contact: Jo Niehaus, Natural and Cultural Resources Recovery Task Force PIO, jo.niehaus@oregon.gov, 503-580-9210

Released: April 14, 2021

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City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications 9-1-1 Operator
City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications 9-1-1 Operator
Oregon 9-1-1 operators honored with proclamation for Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (Photo) - 04/13/21

In 2020, 9-1-1 telecommunication professionals in Oregon answered approximately 2-million emergency calls for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services to protect the lives and property of Oregonians.  Since early in 2020, these essential frontline workers have been busier than ever responding to the pandemic, floods, historic wildfires and most recently a devastating winter storm.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a state proclamation to acknowledge these devoted professionals across the state who take emergency calls and/or dispatch appropriate police, fire and medical services to emergency locations. Each second week of April, this year April 11-17, public safety organizations in the U.S. and Canada recognize the crucial role of telecommunicators.

“When an emergency occurs, 9-1-1 operators are the unsung heroes who serve as the first point of contact in situations where seconds can save lives,” State 9-1-1 Program Section Manager Frank Kuchta said. “This week provides a chance to show these very important people some well-deserved gratitude.”

9-1-1 operators are a vital element of emergency services systems. The critical functions performed by professional telecommunicators also supports local, tribal, state and federal government agencies in the fields of emergency management, highway safety, search and rescue, and more.

“When we look at the professionalism and selfless service that our 9-1-1 operators exude, it is easy to see why this week worth celebrating,” said Kuchta.

The 9-1-1 program in Oregon was established by the 1981 Oregon Legislature, and is managed by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

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You can get this document in other languages, large print, braille or a format you prefer. Contact David Cardona, OEM Language Access Coordinator, at 971-719-1183 or email david.cardona@state.or.us. We accept all relay calls, or you can dial 711.

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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - April 7, 2021 (Photo) - 04/07/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for April 7, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

White City, Ore. - April 1, 2021 - A bus transports children to and from school at Willow Estates, FEMA housing site in White City, Ore., as Lance “Duke” Davis (left), FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, and Andrew Phelps (right), Director of Oregon Office of Emergency Management, participate in an update briefing on the Almeda Fire recovery efforts in Jackson County. Photo by FEMA 
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Oregon Office of Emergency Management Wildfire Recovery Logo: Oregon Rising - Stronger Together.                                        File: OEM RISING LOGO W SUN

Phoenix, Ore. - January 20, 2021 - Crews remove ash and debris from Bear Lakes Estates Mobile Home Park. Ensuring safe housing for the Phoenix community is a big step in the recovery process. Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation          File: 50856689283_e30ecf2b3f_o.jpg

Oregon Rising Stronger Together Logo
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No-Cost Property Clean Up Deadline Approaches for Echo Mountain Fire Area; Right of Entry Agreements Due April 15 - 04/01/21

SALEM, Ore. -- April 1, 2021 -- As part of ongoing statewide recovery efforts for the 2020 Oregon wildfires, the Debris Management Task Force has announced an upcoming deadline for a no-cost state cleanup program. Officials have asked Lincoln County property owners with homes impacted by the Echo Mountain wildfires to submit a Right of Entry (ROE) agreement no later than April 15, 2021. .

The State of Oregon, through the Debris Management Task Force, is providing no-cost cleanup for all homes and properties in the eight counties (Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion) affected by the September 2020 wildfires. Property owners must first sign an ROE agreement to allow cleanup crews onto their property. The April 15 ROE deadline applies only to Lincoln County, but all counties will face similar deadlines as work in their areas progresses toward completion.

Cleanup crews will remove ash and structural debris, hazard trees, concrete foundations and burned vehicles at no cost to the homeowner.

To date, Debris Management Task Force crews have completed cleanup of 66 home sites impacted by the Echo Mountain Fire and are nearing completion of work in the area. Crews will then move on to other parts of the state impacted by last year’s devastating fires.To submit an ROE agreement and learn more, visit wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup or call the wildfire debris cleanup hotline at 503-934-1700.

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This document is available in other languages, large print, braille and additional formats. Contact David Cardona, OEM Language Access Coordinator, at 971-719-1183 or email  dona@state.or.us">david.cardona@state.or.us. All relay calls are accepted; dial 711 to access free telecommunications relay services anywhere in the U.S.

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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - March 31, 2021 (Photo) - 03/31/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for March 31, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

Lincoln City, Ore. - March 19, 2021 - Asbestos crew working on properties affected by the Echo Mountain Fire. Asbestos testing is a crucial step in the debris removal process of the wildfire recovery plan. Photo by Oregon Department of Transportation 
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Oregon Office of Emergency Management Wildfire Recovery Logo: Oregon Rising - Stronger Together.                                        File: OEM RISING LOGO W SUN

The Oregon State University’s Forest and Natural Resources Extension Fire Program is hosting a free webinar series to help Oregonians prepare for future wildfire seasons. (Photo courtesy Oregon State University)                                                                File: fire aware. fire prepared.png

Oregon Office of Emergency Management ShakeAlert(R) Public Webinar Available on Website and YouTube - 03/30/21

SALEM, Ore. – March 30, 2021 – ShakeAlert®, an earthquake detection tool operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, is now enabled in Oregon. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently presented a free public webinar to explain what ShakeAlert is, how it works, why it is important, how to enable it, and what to do when an alert is received.

A video recording of the public webinar is now available to view on the OEM website and on the OEM YouTube channel. The video is presented with closed captioning in Spanish and English with translation options available for additional languages.

ShakeAlert uses science and technology to detect significant earthquakes quickly and sends a real time alert to people via their cell phone before shaking arrives at their location. These important alerts come automatically on most cell phones, making a distinctive sound and displaying a text message that reads, “Earthquake detected! Drop, cover, hold on. Protect yourself.” This message is also available in Spanish for phones set to receive alerts in that language. Some mobile phones with text-to-voice capability may read out the message text.

No sign up is required to receive ShakeAlert notifications, and the only action needed is to enable emergency alerts through a cell phone’s settings. For instructions on where to find these settings, visit ORShakeAlert.us.

ShakeAlert does not predict when or where an earthquake will occur or how long it will last. It detects earthquakes that have already begun, offering seconds of advance warning that allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. The system can also be used to trigger automated actions such as closing a gas valve or slowing a train, actions that can prevent infrastructure failures in the aftermath of an earthquake.

Learn more at ORShakeAlert.us.

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This document is available in other languages, large print, braille and additional formats. Contact David Cardona, OEM Language Access Coordinator, at 971-719-1183 or email dona@state.or.us">david.cardona@state.or.us. All relay calls are accepted; dial 711 to access free telecommunications relay services anywhere in the U.S.

Eligible Subapplicants
Eligible Subapplicants
Hazard Mitigation Grants Help to Rebuild Better Following a Disaster - 03/26/21

SALEM, Ore. – March 25, 2021 – The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is dedicated to helping state and local governments mitigate against natural hazards. The office has made approximately $60 million in FEMA state hazard mitigation grants available to Oregon communities, including local governments, tribes, state parks, schools, public utility commissions and some private non-profit organizations. July 1 is the application deadline.

After wildfires and other disasters, mitigation funds may be used to help communities rebuild stronger and safer. Examples of mitigation actions include planning and zoning, floodplain protection, property acquisition and relocation, or public outreach projects surrounding identified natural hazards.

“From wildfires to droughts to ice storms to the looming Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, Oregon faces an incredibly diverse set of hazards,” said Andrew Phelps, Director of Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “While we cannot eliminate each hazard, through hazard mitigation we can strengthen our infrastructure, proactively address existing vulnerabilities, and take personal actions to reduce risk and keep ourselves and our communities safe.”

Mitigation planning is a key process used to break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. FEMA requires state, tribal and local governments to develop and adopt natural hazard mitigation plans as a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for Hazard Mitigation Assistance projects.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. This grant funding is available after a presidentially declared disaster. In this program, homeowners and businesses cannot apply for a grant; however, a local community may apply for funding on their behalf. Private nonprofits are also eligible to apply.

Flood Mitigation Assistance

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) provides funding to states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes and local communities for projects and planning that reduce or eliminate long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that replaces the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program. The BRIC program assist states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribes, and local communities in implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. BRIC grants may fund planning or projects and provide opportunities to raise public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes. The program supports communities through capability and capacity building; encourages and enables innovation; promotes partnerships; enables large projects; maintains flexibility; and provides consistency.

Mitigation is different from preparedness, which is action taken to improve emergency response or operational preparedness. Examples of preparedness actions are interoperable communications equipment or conducting emergency response training; these actions are not eligible under hazard mitigation grant funding.

Potential applicants may speak with a State Hazard Mitigation Officer to schedule a time to answer questions or provide guidance. Contact State Hazard Mitigation Officer Amie Bashant or Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer Anna Feigum at shmo@mil.state.or.us.

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This document is available in other languages, large print, braille and additional formats. Contact David Cardona, OEM Language Access Coordinator, at 971-719-1183 or email dona@state.or.us">david.cardona@state.or.us. All relay calls are accepted; dial 711 to access free telecommunications relay services anywhere in the U.S.

View the attached charts to see eligible activities for the different state hazard mitigation grants.

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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - March 24, 2021 (Photo) - 03/24/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for March 24, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

Latest statistics as of March 18, 2021, for assistance provided by FEMA during the first six months after the 2020 wildfires. (Photo courtesy FEMA)
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Oregon Office of Emergency Management Wildfire Recovery Logo: Oregon Rising - Stronger Together. File: OEM RISING LOGO W SUN

Graphic showing steps of cleaning up property after a wildfire. The two phases allow state and federal agencies to synchronize efforts and ensure the property will be safe for rebuilding. (Image courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation)                        File: Steps of Wildfire Cleanup.PNG