Wildfire resources and updates

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Rep. Nathanson

Dear friends,

A shocking number of Oregonians, more than 40,000, have been evacuated from their homes. The loss of life and property is tragic. Some of it is very close to those of us living in  House District 13 (north and downtown Eugene).

I get notices all day, every day, about emergency work in fire-affected areas around the state. One example: the state’s director of Aging and People with Disabilities explained that the agency is working on evacuating, or planning to evacuate, residents of 50 long term care facilities. Another example: a new Executive Order to protect consumers has been issued in response to reports of price gouging during this emergency.

I am focusing this enews on providing resources so that you can get updated information when you want it, and have access to resources that you need to help your friends and family or to help others. Please share this with others who you think may be interested or find the information useful.

With gratitude for our firefighters, emergency responders, and all who are helping,


Emergency alerts

phone alerts

If you haven’t already, I recommend signing up for emergency alerts. Alerts are sent to all smartphones in the county of the alert, so you’ll hear alerts for nearby communities and not necessarily your neighborhood specifically.On your smartphone, an audible alarm will sound and a text notice will appear. Emergency alerts are sent only to people who sign up; it’s a voluntary, opt-in system. The Office of Emergency Management will also use the Emergency Alert System to broadcast alerts on radio.

  • Sign up for the Lane County public alert system. Receive emergency alerts from Lane County based on your physical address and zip code.
  • If you’d like to let friends or loved ones outside of Lane County to sign up for alerts, tell them to check their county’s website.
  • Check your cell phone to make sure the settings for emergency alerts are turned on (iPhone and Android settings).

In Eugene

Smoke and air quality

Air quality is rated “hazardous" to "very unhealthy" at any given time, and this condition may persist for several days. Stay indoors with windows closed if you can.

Lane Regional Air Protection Authority (LRAPA) provides continually updated information on air quality including the “AQI”: Air Quality Index – LRAPA local Air Quality information. In the LRAPA graphic you’ll notice that the meter doesn’t anticipate air quality ratings “over the top” as bad as we are now experiencing. Also see air quality updates on the Oregon Smoke Blog which includes maps. This federal resource, AQI Basics, describes the index ratings: 0-50 is satisfactory or good; anything over 300 is considered hazardous. Eugene’s AQI at 11 AM this morning was 423.

air qual

Experts are advising to stay home and out of the smoke as much as possible. Cloth face coverings, surgical masks, bandanas, and other coverings used to stop the spread of COVID-19 offer little protection from the fine particles in smoke that are harmful to lungs. N95 masks offer protection but are in short supply as frontline healthcare workers need them to respond to COVID-19.

The City of Eugene is opening three respite centers for people with compromised respiratory systems who need a place inside away from the smoke. The locations are the Hilyard Community Center (9 am-5pm), Petersen Barn Community Center (9 am-5pm), and Lane Events Center (8 am-8 pm.)

Helping neighboring communities

We are so very close to the communities that have been evacuated from up river.

KLCC radio is broadcasting requests for donations of specific items to be taken to Silke Field in Springfield (see their website). Here’s where to find information on what’s needed, including specific food suggestions (like cheese and small cartons of milk), household supplies (like zip close bags, laundry soap, and can openers), and support for animals (like kiddie pools and fly spray).

Another way to support those affected by the fires is to provide financial donations to relief organizations. They will provide meals, shelter, and relief supplies where they are needed most.

Office of Emergency Management advisory

Pay close attention to the evacuation levels and listen to instruction from emergency responders. If you’re told to evacuate, leave immediately. It may be the only warning you get.

Help emergency responders

The Office of Emergency Management advises the following ways to help fire fighters and emergency responders:

  • Keep roads clear. OEM says, “Try to stay off the roads for unnecessary travel. Leave the roads open for emergency response vehicles and those who need to evacuate.”
  • Use the 9-1-1 line only to report fire or other emergency. OEM says, “Emergency call lines are being flooded with reports of smoke and we want resources to be able for those who truly need help.”


You can check the Evacuation Map to see level 1 (green), level 2 (yellow) and level 3 (red) zones. Find information on evacuation zones and shelters for the McKenzie/Holiday Farm Fire. This OPB article has a list of what to pack for an emergency 'go bag.'

evacuation levels

Quick links and resources

  • Oregon Wildfire Resources – The State’s wildfire page with links to fire updates, the air quality index, housing assistance, and more
  • Wildfire Map Dashboard – State of Oregon wildfire map, showing evacuation zones, acres burned, and containment
  • Mckenzie /Holiday Farm Fire Information – Evacuation & shelter, pet & animal resources, road closures and more
  • Safe and Well Registry – The Red Cross’s registry to let friends and loves ones know you’re safe
  • Tripcheck – Check road conditions and closures
  • OPB live updates – OPB is keeping a running list of updates on fires and evacuation orders
  • OEM Twitter- Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is posting regular updates on all fires on Twitter
  • 211.org or call 211 for additional resources

COVID-19 Resources

Building a Safe and Strong Oregon: reopening plan, County status and Statewide guidance
Lane County Public Health: Local data, Blueprint for reopening and Community resources
Oregon Health Authority (with a link to subscribe to their news service)
Oregon Health Plan (open enrollment)
University of Oregon webpage on UO's COVID-19 response
Oregon Office of Emergency Management OEM COVID-19 response
Employment Department: for business: Work Share
Unemployment Insurance Online Claims and new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Bureau of Labor and Industries Coronavirus and Workplace Laws
Department of Human Services.
Department of Education
Oregon Food Bank's Food Finder
Oregon Law Center: Information on housing & employment protections, domestic violence aid, emergency public assistance and more.