Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Americans need to prepare for emergencies

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2011 - Recent weather events such as Hurricane Irene, the earthquake on the East Coast and other natural disasters highlight the need for Americans to prepare for emergencies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Ad Council and Google Crisis Response are collaborating to launch a new preparedness web resource, Get Tech Ready, on behalf of the Ready campaign.

Released just before the start of National Preparedness Month, this new resource educates individuals and families about how using modern-day technology can help them prepare, adapt and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies or disasters.

A recent American Red Cross survey showed that the internet, including online news sites and social media platforms, is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.

"As technology becomes more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to it during emergencies as well. We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because no matter how much federal, state and local officials do, we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team," FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate.

"During Hurricane Irene, we saw people using new technologies in many ways, whether it was thousands of people downloading our new shelter finder App or others using our Safe and Well site and social media to let their friends and family know they are OK, " said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "People now have more varied resources available at their fingertips that they can use before, during and after emergencies."

Get Tech Ready provides Americans with tips on how to use technological resources before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs. Preparedness tips on the website include:
• Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available;
• Store your important documents such as personal and financial records in the cloud or on a secure and remote area or flash or jump drive that you can keep readily available so they can be accessed from anywhere; and
• Create an Emergency Information Document using the Family Emergency Plan template in Google Docs or by downloading the Ready Family Emergency Plan to record your emergency plans.

"Get Tech Ready is a resource that will truly help people in the US and around the world understand how they can use widely available technology to prepare for potential crises," said Nigel Snoud, Product Manager, Google Crisis Response. "We're thrilled to be working with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the Ad Council on this public service project."

"We are delighted to collaborate with FEMA, Google and the American Red Cross to expand our Ready messages through this new web site to educate more Americans about the vital need to get prepared in advance of an potential emergency," said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of the Ad Council. "The web site will provide access to critical resources to Americans addressing the importance of using technology as part of their individual and family preparedness plans."

Launched in 2003, National Preparedness Month is designed to encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies throughout the year. The Ready campaign was also launched in 2003 by FEMA in partnership with the Ad Council. Since its launch, media outlets have donated more than $900 million in advertising time and space for the PSAs. The new PSAs will air in advertising time that will be entirely donated by the media.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

FEMA does not endorse any non-Federal government organizations or products.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire update for Wednesday Aug. 24, 2011.

The 14-acre Cummins Creek Fire burning in the Central Oregon District-John Day Unit was fully bulldozer-lined last evening. Today seven fire engines, two hand crews and a water tender remain at the fire to conduct mop-up.

The 325-acre Elephant Rock Fire burning in the Northeast Oregon District-Pendleton Unit is 80 percent contained with full containment expected later today.

The 53,000-acre Hancock Complex reported Aug. 24 burning northeast of Clarno along the John Day River is 70 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on this lightning-caused fire.

The 1,500-acre Webster Fire reported Aug. 24 burning four miles northeast of Warm Springs is 30 percent contained. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs is the lead agency on the lightning-caused fire.

The 128-acre Jim White Ridge Complex reported Aug. 3 burning 10 miles east of Cove is uncontained. The U.S. Forest Service is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused complex of fires.

The 2,006-acre Desert Meadows Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Frenchglen is 55 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 61,841-acre High Cascades Fire complex reported Aug. 24 burning along the Deschutes River is 10 percent contained. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 1,605-acre Smyth Creek Fire reported Aug. 25 burning 15 miles south of Diamond is 70 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 550-acre Incident 615 fire reported Aug. 25 burning three miles southeast of Twickingham is 40 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

The 499-acre Lauserica Fire reported Aug. 26 burning 20 miles northwest of Fields is 60 percent contained. The Bureau of Land Management is leading the suppression effort on the lightning-caused fire.

For information on wildfires in all jurisdictions within Oregon, go to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center website,, or to the national Incident Information System website,

The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible for fire protection on private and state-owned forestland, and on a limited amount of other forestlands, including those owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in western Oregon. However, because fires starting on one ownership type may spread to others, and because of the need to share firefighting resources, agencies commonly work closely together.

This update focuses primarily on firefighting activity on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected land, and on the department's role as a partner in fighting major fires that start on land protected by other agencies.

Fire statistics are for the current year and the average over the past 10 years for the 16 million acres of private and public forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry:

January 1, 2011, through today:
Lightning-caused fires: 105 fires burned 279 acres
Human-caused fires: 334 fires burned approximately 1,014 acres
Total: 439 fires burned approximately 1,293 acres

10-year average (Jan. 1 through the present date in the year):
Lightning-caused fires: 280 fires burned approximately 20,708 acres
Human-caused fires: 534 fires burned approximately 3,592 acres
Total: 814 fires burned approximately 24,300 acres

For firefighter safety tips, go to:

For current fire weather information, go to:

For current smoke information:

News media may contact the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters office for fire information, (503) 945-7200, weekdays during business hours. After business hours and on weekends, media may obtain fire information by calling the duty pager (503) 370-0403. The duty officer will return media pages promptly.

ODF also maintains a blog that includes breaking news on wildfires, along with current fire statistics. Visit the blog at:

Carelessness can destroy Oregon's beauty. Learn what you can do to prevent wildfires. Visit the Keep Oregon Green Association on the web at

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fire restrictions increased in No. Cascade District

August 19, 2011
Contact: Jamie Paul, Oregon Dept. of Forestry – No. Cascade District, 503-829-2216

MOLALLA – Warm, dry weather has prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to increase fire safety restrictions in the North Cascade Forest Protection District beginning Wednesday, Aug. 17. The North Cascade District protects private, State and some Federal forestlands in portions of Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion and northern Linn counties. A regulated use closure is now in place for all private and public lands within the ODF protection boundary. Most summers, these restrictions would already be in place, but this year’s weather allowed for a delay.

Fire season officially started July 13 and although the dry summer weather has been late in coming this year, vegetation has now had time to dry out and the fire threat is in full force. The decision to institute the regulated-use closure in the region was based on the continued drying of wildland fuels, and forecasted weather patterns calling for warmer and drier weather with no measurable precipitation in the foreseeable future.

“The message right now is that we’ve had a delayed start to fire season and because of that, people have gotten complacent about fire danger,” said Christian Paul, protection supervisor for the ODF Molalla Unit.

Several recent fires in the Molalla, Colton and Clarkes-Highland areas have caused concern for ODF fire managers. One fire took off quickly in dried grasses and threatened a nearby barn. For all-wood buildings, ODF recommends keeping nearby vegetation well-trimmed and putting a few feet of rock between the building and the grass.

“I think one of the take-home prevention methods ODF would recommend is for homeowners to keep vegetation lean and green around their houses and structures,” Paul said.

Another fire was caused by juveniles. ODF reminds parents to stay aware of their children’s activities during the summer months and to reinforce the message that fire, matches and lighters are “tools, not toys.”

The stepped-up restrictions include the following:

1. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and on sand or gravel bars that lie between water and high water marks that are free of vegetation.

2. Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

3. Chainsaw use is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Level I and II. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one ax, one shovel, and one operational 8 oz. or larger fire extinguisher. In addition a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

4. Chainsaw use is prohibited in areas subject to Industrial Fire Precaution Level III and IV.

5. Use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

6. All motor vehicles must be equipped with one gallon of water or one operational 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher, one ax, and one shovel, except when traveling on state highways and county roads and driveways. All-terrain vehicles and motorcycles must be equipped with one operational 2-½ lb. or larger fire extinguisher, except when traveling on state highways and county roads.

7. Use of fireworks is prohibited.

8. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cutting, grinding and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present.

9. Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

10. Blasting is prohibited, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

11. Use of exploding targets is prohibited.

12. Any electric fence controller in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services; and 2) Operated in compliance with manufacturer instruction for fire safe operation.

For more information, contact your local Oregon Dept. of Forestry office. In Molalla, call 503-829-2216. In Lyons, call 503-859-2151.