Letter From Mayor Sally Russell With List of Resource Links

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From Mayor Sally Russell

Today as fires are still raging across Oregon, causing large scale evacuations in Klamath, Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, and Clackamas Counties, we grieve for the families, businesses and beautiful natural areas severely affected by this unprecedented disaster in Oregon.
My heart goes out to all of the families and communities. Please reach out to loved ones and neighbors who are suffering and in need.  We are all in this together.
In Bend and Deschutes County the winds are forecasted to shift in the next 24-48 hours, bringing more smoke and increasing the chance of fire getting out of control in the forests on the edge of, and within, our communities. Deschutes National Forest, Deschutes County and the Bend Fire are all working to get this message out:   
Extreme Fire Danger, All Fires Prohibited
Currently there are no active fires in Deschutes County, and let’s do our best to keep it that way. With the recent wildfire events across the state of Oregon and extreme strain on our local fire resources, Bend Fire & Rescue has placed a ban on all fires, effective immediately. This is in conjunction with Redmond Fire & Rescue and other local, state and federal agencies. The ban will be in place until further notice. 
Fires can start so easily, with just one small spark from a dragging chain on a car or something equally as tiny and seemingly insignificant. It’s each and all of our job to be extremely careful during this time.
In order to stay informed on evacuations and emergency alerts in Deschutes County, you can sign up for alerts through Deschutes County Alerts System. This includes evacuation alerts like the ones sent out notifying residents of evacuation levels during the Rosland Road fire. 
Many have been asking me for fire information. Here are a number of social media pages. As this is an extremely rapidly evolving and unprecedented event, information management has been challenging, but is getting better.

Here is a brief update on what is happening in the county, from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management:

  • There are NO active evacuations in Deschutes County
  • The Deschutes County Fairgrounds has been established as a Temporary Evacuation Point for those displaced by fires in the Santiam River Canyon (Beachie/Santiam/Mad Hatter/Lionshead Fires) and the McKenzie River Canyon (Holiday Farm Fire). The Red Cross is handling sheltering logistics.
  • At this time, no congregate shelter in Deschutes County has been established due to COVID-19 concerns
  • The Pet Evacuation Team remains on standby to establish large animal sheltering operations at the Fairgrounds if that need arises
  • The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN) has been activated virtually to support the dissemination of accurate and timely public information
  • The Red Cross’ Safe and Well program continues to be an excellent way to find and connect with displaced family members.

Be safe and look out for your neighbors. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Take care,

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