COVID-19 and Wildfire Update: September 28

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Representative Smith Warner


The last seven months have been a tragic and unprecedented time for our state, nation and world. The dual crises of COVID-19 and historic wildfires, exacerbated by climate change, have claimed the lives, livelihoods, homes and businesses of far too many Oregonians. My heart breaks for every single individual who has been impacted. 

In recent days we have experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases, including a one-day record for Oregon. It is more important than ever, especially with the onset of flu season, that we continue to wear a face covering, wash our hands and maintain proper social distancing.

Oregon Health Authority Update
The Oregon Health authority reports up-to-date information regarding testing statistics that can be found on their website. You can review the daily update and read details about the overall picture of COVID-19 response efforts in Oregon. Here are some recent developments from OHA:

  • Oregon Health Authority reported 181 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 32,994.

  • The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (4), Clackamas (13), Clatsop (5), Columbia (8), Deschutes (13), Douglas (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (13), Jefferson (6), Lane (26), Malheur (6), Marion (12), Morrow (6), Multnomah (21), Polk (2), Umatilla (11), Wasco (4), Washington (24), and Yamhill (5).

  • OHA has launched a behavioral health outreach and education effort and new helpline for Oregonians, known as Safe + Strong. These new resources will help support increased behavioral health needs in our communities due to the broad impacts of COVID-19 and the once-in-a-lifetime wildfire season.

Oregon Wildfire Update
The Oregon Department of Forestry reported gains in containment over the weekend on all 6 major fires in Oregon, down from 17 originally. Fires are removed from the list when they are 100% lined and fire managers are confident in their progress toward containment. On that basis, the Thielsen Fire, which has not grown from 9,971 acres in days and is more than two-thirds contained, has been removed.

9/28 Wildfire Map

9.28 Wildfire Containment Chart

There have been more than 7,500 personnel assigned to these fires, not including many of the government employees, landowners, forestland operators, and members of the community who are contributing every day. There have been resources from 39 states and multiple Canadian provinces in this fight alongside Oregonians. About 1 million acres have burned in Oregon since the start of this year, which is nearly double the 10-year average of approximately 557,811.

Resources for Parents and Caregivers
As parents and families are navigating school, work, and child care during COVID-19 and Oregon’s worst wildfire on record, there are many resources available to support parents and families. Family Forward has created a helpful Back-To-School Checklist that has information about childcare, unemployment assistance, FMLA, and more. You can access the checklist here

Please reach out to my office if you have any additional questions, or if there’s anything you think I could help with. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301