2020 will be one for the history books. On September 9th, Governor Kate Brown invoked an emergency act that will help bring additional resources to battle the wildfires burning across the state. We are experiencing the smoke and ash that is coming from major fires east of Estacada and Molalla; East of Silverton, Sublimity and Stayton; East of Eugene and Springfield; Northeast of Roseburg; Northeast of Eagle Point and along the I-5 corridor between Medford and Ashland. On September 8th in the evening we learned of the fire that began on Chehalem Mountain. During the night evacuation orders for streets on the hill were issued. We have families, friends and staff that have had to leave their homes. We are working to contact staff that have been evacuated to help them with temporary housing. We are also monitoring closely the progress of emergency responders and location of the fire. As of early this morning we are hearing that emergency crews are confident that the City of Newberg is safe. News reports that no human lives or livestock have been lost and homes have been saved. The only losses so far have been three barns and many trees.
At Friendsview we are dusting off our emergency response policy. We have contacted Family Life Church and have permission to use this location as an evacuation spot if needed. Staff phone tree lists are being checked for accuracy and updated. Air handling equipment is being checked to make sure it will shut down fresh air exchange to reduce smoke in the building when needed. We know that generators are in good shape because we check them regularly. We have emergency food and water on hand and our fire system has been inspected and is up to date.
At this point we feel confident that we won’t need to evacuate, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. We’ve encouraged independent living residents to pack a go bag and to keep it by the door.
If you are like me, having more information is best. If I don’t know, I worry about what might happen rather then what is actually happening. Here are some websites and phone applications that can give you up to the minute updates:
PulsePoint – a phone app that you can download to your phone. Add your zip code to receive real time information from local emergency responders.
CodeRED Mobil Alert – a phone app that you can download to your phone. Public safety organizations use this to alert the community and initiate emergency notifications.
www.newbergoregon.gov – for a list of Chehalem Mountain roads that have been evacuated.
www.twitter.com/TVFR – If you have a twitter account you can follow Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue for informative updates.
https://member.everbridge.net/892807736727638/login – To sign up for Yamhill County Alerts.
If we find that we need to evacuate, we will sound the alarm. In the meantime, please rest easy.
Sincerely, Todd Engle, Executive Director