September 15th Update: Wildfire and COVID-19 Resources

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Thank you so much to all of the firefighters and emergency responders across the state who have been responding to fires and helping evacuees.  Between The Fire Departments of Tualatin Valley, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, Banks and the Oregon Department of Forestry, both of the fires in Washington County are at 100% containment.  We are hopeful that the rains will come soon and support the crews throughout the state in their responses.  Unfortunately some of this rain and cool air will be accompanied by wind and lightning, but Emergency responders say they remain optimistic.  Please stay aware of the fire and smoke risks locally, and help as you can by following official directions and contributing donations if you can. 

Thank you Firefighters

Thank you fire fighters and emergency responders in Forest Grove, Gaston, Banks, Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley!

Wildfire Updates

Washington County: 

  • Powerline Fire (update from Oregon Department of Forestry as of 9/14 @ 11 a.m.):
    • Location: South of Hagg Lake near Dundee Road
    • Fire status: Over the weekend the fire was contained. Firefighters continue work to cool hot spots and keep the fire within the perimeter. The burned area is estimated at 126 acres. No future growth is expected. The Oregon Department of Forestry turned the management of the fire over to Gaston Rural Fire District. Crews will work to retrieve hose and other equipment from the fireline and patrol the area to watch for any unexpected flare ups while waiting for rains to fully extinguish the fire. While the fire has been contained, fire managers would like to ask everyone to practice vigilance to ensure that no new fire starts occur. There will be small amounts of smoke coming from the area within the perimeter of the fire. Scoggins Valley Park and Henry Hagg Lake will remain closed until further notice. Deputies in the area will be doing routine patrols. Lead Agency: Gaston Rural Fire District
    • Evacuations: All evacuation levels have been lifted.
    • Evacuation reception site: Washington County’s Westside Commons (formerly known as the Fair Complex) is available to support animal welfare from affected areas and an evacuation camp site for families in RVs. Brown Park located at 113 SW Gaston Road, Gaston, is available for general camping and families in RVs with power and water hookup capabilities. Evacuees should bring masks and hand sanitizer and follow COVID-19 precautions.
  • Chehalem Mountains/Bald Peak Fire (update from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue as of 9/14 @ 2 p.m.): 
    • Location: SW Weaver Drive near Jaquith Road. Mostly in Washington County with some expansion into Yamhill County.
    • Fire status: The fire is 100% contained. TVF&R firefighters will continue mopping up this week. Three barns were lost but all homes have been protected with no injuries to residents, firefighters or animals. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. TVF&R is planning a virtual community meeting this week and will mail packets to residents.
    • Lead Agency: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R)
    • Evacuations: All evacuations levels have been lifted. A map is available here: 

Statewide Updates

  • Voting and wildfires: If you have been displaced by fires, you can still have a ballot mailed to you, below is information from the Oregon Secretary of State on how to get your ballot: 
  • Fire Insurance: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is actively sharing resources and is available to answer questions about insurance coverage and claims relating to wildfires. Their wildfire page has tips and resources to help with filing and settling insurance claims. You can also reach their consumer advocates for free advice by calling 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or emailing  
  • Kidney Disease: The American Kidney Fund’s Disaster Relief Program is the nation’s only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities. Disaster relief grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster.  If you or a loved one are dialysis patients and are adversely affected by the wildfires and need an AKF emergency grant, please contact AKF directly at 800-795-3226.  Additionally, the American Kidney Fund maintains a natural disaster resource page for dialysis patients and renal professionals.  This site contains not only emergency phone numbers and state and municipal resources, but also information about the 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan for dialysis patients.  By following this plan, patients can help reduce waste buildup in their bodies in case they have to miss or delay their dialysis treatment.
  • Replacing Medication: Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members: If you left home quickly because of nearby wildfires without grabbing prescriptions or durable medical equipment (DME), you can get them replaced.  If you have any trouble replacing things like supplies or prescriptions, your coordinated care organization (CCO) can help. Find your CCO contact information here: If you’re an OHP member with an open card, contact Member Services at: 800-273-0557.
replacing medications

Wildfire Resources

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  Governor Brown also held a press conference today to give updates on the state of evacuations and fire suppression.  You can watch that here.  

Know the difference between Smoke and COVID-19 symptoms:

Some symptoms, like cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, headache and fatigue can be caused by both wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19. Learn about symptoms of COVID-19.

Smoke vs COVID-19 Symptoms

COVID-19 Updates


  • School Based Health Centers: In order to maintain air quality, all Virginia Garcia locations, all VG medical, dental and school-based clinics will be open, 9/15/2020, for telehealth visits only. If a patient has an appointment scheduled staff will be in touch to convert their appointment or reschedule them to another day if preferred. If there is an urgent medical or dental need we are advising patients to please call their provider to schedule a telephone visit. All VG pharmacies are open for curbside delivery only. In order to reduce wait time, please contact their pharmacy prior to arriving to ensure the prescription is ready. More information in English and Spanish here
  • Yesterday was the first day of school in our area, and it was definitely not like any other.  Between COVID-19 and Smoke risks, school districts and families are facing a lot of challenges.  Below are some resources and updates from Hillsboro and Forest Grove School Districts:
Give Distance Learning a Chance

Mortgage Assistance: 

Oregon Housing and Community Services, and the Oregon Housing Stabilization Initiative have opened their new COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Program!  The program began accepting applications Monday, September 14, 2020 at 8am. 

Please visit their How to Apply page to review the eligibility requirements and get your documents ready. You can then start your online application at 

If you have questions about the COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Program, please check out their website,, send an email at, or call (503) 986-2025. OHSI may be temporarily unable to accept all live customer service calls due to demand. Please reach out via email and we will make every effort to respond within 24 hours.

If you need help completing your online application, please connect with a housing counseling agency partner. Contact information for our partners can be found on our Contact Us page

Case Data:

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 6,537,627 (up 34,597 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 194,092 (up 387 from yesterday)
    • Cases in the lasts 7 days: 250,265
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 29,662 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 184 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 8 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 151 cases, 2 deaths
    • Sunday: 185 cases, 5 deaths
    • Saturday: 293 cases, 6 deaths
    • A total of 519 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 4,145 confirmed cases, including 25 new cases today.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. The Oregon Health Authority recently provided a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state.The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level. 
  • The weekly testing report was published today: “As of September 12, Oregon’s cumulative positivity rate is 4.6% of people tested. This is considerably lower than the national average of 8%. Of the 17,365 test results reported so far for the week of September 6, 965 (5.6%) were positive. The total for that week is likely to rise as test results continue to be reported to OHA. Test positivity had been declining since a peak in late July; however, current results indicate a lower number of tests and a higher test positivity for the most recent week.” 
Daily Update September 15th

Table showing Oregon case, testing and demographic data, link to more information

Weekly Testing Summary

Testing Report from the week of 9/6, click the table to view the full report

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


Smoke and Fire in Washington County

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301