The City received this wonderful letter and pictures back after we gifted them with a special custom glass float to thank them on the first anniversary of their first responder response to the Echo Mountain Complex Fire last September.
“On behalf of the Idaho Falls Fire Department, we want to thank you for your kind letter and beautiful gift!
During a time when calls are increasing and we are experiencing unprecedented population growth, COVID is once again spiking, and we continue to deploy on wildfires in the western United States, receiving your letter and gift in the mail was a welcomed and much appreciated surprise that brought smiles to faces. The letter was shared with department leadership, our four firefighters who were deployed, as well as with Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and City Council.
As your community continues to recover from the devastating fire, please know that you are in our thoughts. It was an honor to be called upon to serve your community alongside other fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service. Please share our appreciation with your city leadership, fire department, and the very talented artist Kelly Howard. (On a personal note, I will be in Lincoln City next spring and have added a stop in her studio to my agenda.)
Attached is a photo taken of two of the four firefighters who were deployed to the Echo Mountain Complex Fire (Captain Kirby Dennert and Firefighter Brandon Moncur). Ironically, the other two (FF Collin Jensen and FF Sean Allen) left for another wildland fire deployment just prior to my scheduled meeting with them to take their photo this morning.”
OHA issues advisory due to high bacteria levels
PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is issuing a public health advisory today for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters at D River Beach in Lincoln County. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted.
Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children, elderly and those with a compromised immune system should use extra caution as they are more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.
Visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Levels of fecal bacteria tend to be higher in these types of water sources.
Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources including:
- Stormwater runoff.
- Sewer overflows.
- Failing septic systems.
- Animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
Even if there is no advisory in effect, avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.
Ocean waters will be re-tested after an advisory is issued. Once bacteria levels are at a safe level, OHA will notify the public that the advisory is lifted.
While this advisory is in effect at D River Beach, state officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/PH/HealthyEnvironments/Recreation/BeachWaterQuality/Pages/index.aspx or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).
Honor those impacted by the 2020 wildfires by proactively preparing for future disasters
SALEM, Ore. – One year after severe drought and extreme winds fueled the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history, Oregon continues to recover and rebuild – while preparing for the next disaster. September is National Preparedness Month, a timely opportunity to emphasize the importance of being prepared.
“The depth of loss from the 2020 wildfires was extraordinarily profound for so many. In acknowledgment of these impacts throughout our state, we’re calling on Oregonians to ‘honor with action’ this National Preparedness Month,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “It’s important Oregonians feel empowered to take actions right now to help keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Together, we can honor those who have lost so much with actions that mean so much.”
These actions can be as simple as signing up for emergency alerts, reviewing community evacuation routes, or talking with a neighbor who may need some extra help during an emergency – all are measures that can mean the difference between being a disaster survivor or a disaster victim.
Over the past year, Oregonians have faced historic ice storms, tragic heat events and yet another severe wildfire season. The seemingly endless cycle of emergencies and disasters is not only an indicator of what’s to come – but also of the collective lack of readiness to face it. Phelps noted that one of the most difficult hazards to mitigate against is the hazard of apathy and the notion that so many people think emergencies won’t happen to them or that they have time to prepare later.
“Disasters don’t wait for us to be ready, and when they strike, the time to prepare has passed. We know disasters affect Oregonians in different ways, and that each of us can be impacted by fires, floods, utility outages, severe weather and other hazards. As we work to build a culture of preparedness in Oregon, we have a shared responsibility to ensure we are actively reducing our risk.”
The words preparedness and readiness can sound overwhelming, especially during a time of such uncertainty. The good news is, many Oregonians may be more prepared than they think. Governor Brown has declared September to be National Preparedness Month in Oregon: Taking steps throughout this month to stay informed, be ready and mitigate risk can make the difference between being a disaster survivor or a disaster victim.
OEM suggested taking the following actions to prepare and pay tribute to the 2020 wildfire survivors:
- Be informed by signing up with OR-Alert for area emergency alerts
- Consider a donation to or volunteering with a disaster-relief organization like the American Red Cross
- Help start or join an existing Community Emergency Response Team or Neighborhood Emergency Team
- Check in on neighbors and loved ones before and during severe weather, utility outages or other emergencies
- Identify evacuation routes from home, work or school and the surrounding neighborhood
- Make and practice an emergency plan
- Pack a go kit – make sure it’s current and includes copies of important documents, medications and phone chargers
When a disaster occurs, it’s unrealistic to expect first responders will be able to reach everyone within hours or even days. OEM actively encourages Oregonians to plan on being self-sufficient for at least two weeks following any type of disaster: This takes pressure off first responders so they can triage effectively and attend to life-threatening situations; ensures individuals can survive without help or additional supplies if roads are impassable; and encourages neighbors to care for one another, along with other vulnerable populations.
OEM’s 2 Weeks Ready program recommends citizens be informed and know about the hazards where they live; make an emergency plan for themselves and their loved ones; and build an emergency kit with at least two weeks’ worth of food, water and other necessities. The 2 Weeks Ready program offers several resources – including brochures, short videos and family-friendly activities – to help people prepare to be 2 Weeks Ready following a disaster.
Oregon’s recovery from the 2020 wildfires is far from over; survivors have experienced exceptional stresses and trauma over the last year, including the added challenges brought by COVID-19 impacts while navigating access to public services, transitional housing and remote schooling while sheltering. There is no standard timeline for recovering from a wildfire or disaster. There are numerous resources available for those struggling with these trials; Oregonians are encouraged to contact organizations like the Disaster Distress Helpline or Safe + Strong Oregon to learn ways to adapt to ongoing events and situations.
“For everyone else, now is the time to take action,” said Phelps. “Too many Oregonians are unprepared, but they can be: It takes each of us to make Oregon stronger – and safer – together. Doing so is the ultimate way to honor those impacted by the wildfires of 2020.”
Governor Kate Brown today announced new statewide outdoor mask requirements to help stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Effective Friday, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) also strongly recommends masking for outdoor gatherings at private residences when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.
“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.
“The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants we’ve seen, and it has dramatically increased the amount of virus in our communities. Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another.”
Under the Governor’s direction, the OHA rule will require masks for all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — in outdoor settings in which individuals from different households are unable to consistently maintain physical distance. The rule does not apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another on a trail or in a park. While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are strongly recommended in those settings when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.
“It is much easier for people with the Delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “This is because they have one thousand times more virus in their nose – which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently. We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings – even outdoors – will help slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The rule aligns with the exceptions outlined in the recent statewide indoor mask requirements, and does not apply to:
• Children under 5 years old;
• Individuals who are actively eating, drinking, or sleeping — as well as individuals living outdoors, such as persons experiencing houselessness;
• Persons playing or practicing competitive sports, or engaged in an activity in which it is not feasible to wear a mask — such as swimming;
• Individuals delivering a speech or performing — such as with outdoor music or theater;
• Mask requirements for day-to-day operations at K-12 schools are not governed by this rule, and will instead continue to fall under the school mask rule. Outside public events, spectator events, and gatherings of the general public on K-12 school grounds will be subject to the rule. Child care and youth programs will continue to follow existing OHA mask guidance; and
• In addition, entities subject to the ADA must continue to comply with that law.
The OHA rule will go into effect this Friday, August 27, however Oregonians are strongly encouraged to immediately start wearing masks outdoors, as outlined above.
Governor Brown continued, “The combination of vaccines and masks is the most powerful way we can fight this latest surge of COVID-19 and save lives. Vaccination continues to be the best way you can protect yourself and your family from the Delta variant, and the most effective way we can help our exhausted nurses and doctors, who are working around the clock to treat Oregonians sick with COVID in our ICUs — the majority of which are unvaccinated individuals. With the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine this week, we have additional reassurance that the vaccines are safe and effective.”
A video message from Governor Brown is available here.
Original News Bulletin found here.
Due to ongoing safety concerns due to Fire, Rescue and Police services not being able to access the beach due to the beach drive accesses blocked by parked vehicles, the beach drive access located at NW 15th St is closed until noon on September 07, 2021. NW 34th Ct. beach drive access will remain closed through December 31, 2021. Amendment to City Council Resolution 2021-34 (City Council Resolution 2021-38).
Governor Kate Brown today ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, August 25, in honor of Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant John Burright. Sergeant Burright died on May 4 after an almost 20-year fight with disabling injuries sustained on September 4, 2001, in the line of duty while he was assisting a driver on I-5; he retired from OSP in 2002 due to his injuries. OSP Senior Trooper Maria Mingano and Albany Police Officer Jason Hoerauf were killed the day of the incident. Sergeant Burright’s death represents Oregon State Police’s 35th line-of-duty death.
This flag order applies to the date of Sergeant Burright’s memorial service (August 25) at the Salem Armory. The service is open to the public, and there will be will be an emergency vehicle procession from Albany to the Salem Armory prior to the start.
“Sergeant John Burright’s service and dedication to Oregon is not forgotten,” said Governor Brown. “My heart goes out to his family and loved ones, and I extend my sincere appreciation, and the gratitude of all Oregonians, for his many years of service to the communities of Roseburg, Albany, and Salem.”
For more information on Sergeant Burright’s memorial service, and to learn how to make a contribution to the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, visit here.
To support recovery and resiliency, the Lincoln County Long-Term Recovery Group is inviting the community to the “One year later, reflections on Echo Mountain” event. Come share and reflect on local experiences during the Echo Mountain Complex Fire last September.
This event is FREE to all community members and will have live music, refreshments, and resource information booths. Bring chairs or blankets for outdoor seating and carpool or use County transit as parking is limited. Current public health recommendations for COVID-19 precautions will be followed.
WHAT: Community Event – “One year later, reflections on Echo Mountain
”WHEN: August 28th, 2021, 11am – 2pm
WHERE: Lincoln City Cultural Center 540 NE Hwy 101 Lincoln City, OR 97367CONTACT: CORE (Community Outreach Recovery Education) 541-265-0403More information here: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/…/media_release…
Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown today ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, August 21, in honor of Representative Gary Leif, who died on July 22 after battling cancer. Representative Leif had represented Oregon’s House District 2 since 2018. This flag order coincides with the date of Representative Leif’s memorial service in Roseburg.
“Our hearts are with Representative Gary Leif’s family, friends, and fellow lawmakers,” said Governor Brown. “In the Capitol, I always appreciated working with Gary. It never mattered to him if we came from different backgrounds or different parties. The most important thing for him was representing the people of Douglas County and looking after their needs.”
Health care workers, K-12 educators, staff, and volunteers required to be fully vaccinated PORTLAND, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced two new vaccination measures to address Oregon’s hospital crisis, caused by the Delta variant surge, and to help keep Oregon students safe in the upcoming school year and minimize disruptions to in-person instruction:
–Oregon’s vaccination requirement for health care workers will no longer have a testing alternative. Health care workers will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18 or six weeks after full FDA approval, whichever is later.
–All teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18 or six weeks after full FDA approval, whichever is later.
“The Delta variant has put enormous pressure on our health systems, and health care workers are being stretched to their absolute limits providing life-saving treatment for the patients in their care,” said Governor Brown. “I am devoting all available resources to help, and we must proactively implement solutions right now. We need every single frontline health care worker healthy and available to treat patients.”
In both cases, health care workers and educators who are not yet vaccinated are urged to speak with their doctor or primary care provider to get their remaining questions about vaccination answered immediately, so they can begin the vaccination process in time to meet the new requirements. In the case of educators, the Governor outlined the importance of masks and staff vaccinations to protect students: because children under 12 are still not yet eligible for vaccination, masks are a critical mitigation measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ensuring all the adults around students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 adds another layer of protection for students as well.
“Our kids need to be in the classroom full-time, five days a week, and we have to do everything we can to make that happen,” said Governor Brown. “While we are still learning about the Delta variant, we know from previous experience that when schools open with safety measures in place, the risk of transmission is low. That’s why I’ve directed the Oregon Health Authority to issue a rule requiring all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated.”
The Governor also outlined the steps Oregon is taking to support hospitals during the ongoing surge in cases and hospitalizations, including deploying the National Guard and nurse strike teams, establishing temporary decompression units to free up bed space, and removing barriers to discharging patients who no longer require hospital-level care. Oregon has also made requests to FEMA and the Biden-Harris administration for additional federal resources and support. The Governor announced she has formed a Hospital Crisis Prevention and Response group consisting of health care stakeholders to problem solve in real time and suggest new measures to aid health care workers and hospitals during the ongoing hospital crisis.
–A recording of today’s Press Conference — with an American Sign Language simulcast — is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 19:49 mark.
–An HD recording of today’s Press Conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.
–A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks is available here.