Fire officials say the lightning-sparked wildfire has burned across 3,000 acres of steep terrain in Siskiyou County, near the Oregon border. About 200 homes are threatened.
— Kristi Gross
— Carli Brosseau
— Jeff Manning
— Ellie Hall
— Kimberly A.C. Wilson
Oregonians warned not to enter the wildfire zone
Thousands of people living in the tiny communities of Yosemite West and Fish Camp in Lake County were told Monday to leave their homes as the so-called Sulphur Fire raged toward them.
“Leave now. You have been told to evacuate. If you do not leave immediately you will put your life and the lives of first responders in danger,” an emergency alert warned on the county’s website.
The massive blaze, which is roughly 30 miles southeast of Clear Lake, has burned more than 1,800 acres, according to state fire officials.
Officials from the U.S. Forest Service say the fire is burning “at very high intensity” and expected to grow due to “very active and unpredictable winds.”
— Aimee Green
— Staff and wire reports
Correction: Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the Oregon Department of Forestry as the Oregon Department of Forestry
— The Associated Press
— Wildfire season will be ‘above average’ this year, officials say.
— ODF says dry and warm weather have made fire season long in the Northwest.
— Wildfire season in California: The biggest one in the state’s history and 11 others still burning
— Wildfire dangers high across the West
— Eight-year-old Oregonian named one of the world’s most inspirational kids
— Fire season is here in Oregon, experts say — and we’ll be fighting it for a while
— ODF Wildfire Update for August 16: Fire dangers increase, strong winds, increased fire behavior
— UPDATE: State of federal emergency management agency map declared in Lake County due to massive wildfire
— ODF reports a “major loss” from the Fish Camp Fire. 17 homes destroyed, 200 homes threatened
— AIMEE’S ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
SKIPPING through a burn area in Oregon’s northwest corner, a group of U.S. Forest Service workers is hiking through ash and charred brush that’s still alive.
The ash isn’t green, the brush isn’t fresh. There’s just so much of it.
This summer, fires burned nearly 4,300 square miles of Oregon, and ash has been a common sight in many of those places. But this one’s different. The workers are looking for signs of the massive wildfire that ripped through the area in June.
SENATOR REYNOLDS, R-Newnan, has filed Senate Bill 5033, the bipartisan Senior Alert Act. The bill establishes an emergency alert system to identify elderly or disabled adults who are missing or at risk of missing.
Since 2006, about 1,700 seniors have died by themselves after being reported missing. In 2016, approximately 30,000 seniors in Georgia went missing and were found dead, many by family members or friends after their families reported them missing. The new alert system would help locate those individuals, who may become lost, confused, or incapacitated, by:
– Issuing an immediate, universal “PLEASE CONTACT” alert to cell phones and landline phones
– Issuing a nationwide Amber Alert to cell phones, email, text, social media, and apps
– Issuing a national text alert to all phone carriers, including pay-as-you-go phones, on cell phones, home phones, and landlines
– Using search-and-rescue teams in different areas to try to locate the missing person who has been reported missing
– Testing the ability of sirens on emergency vehicles to sound when a text alert is sent to the phone
– Making searches and rescues a public information act
– Warning about a reverse 911 call that is used by people with hearing loss or other disabilities
“Our loved ones deserve the same respect and protections that are granted to children by the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other protections. These laws help ensure that children are not subject to harm while they are at home or in their homes, but we are failing to provide the same protections to senior citizens,” said Reynolds.
If passed, the Senior Alert Act would authorize communities to create an alert system that provides notice and proximity to elderly or disabled adults who have been reported missing or endangered. It also authorizes federal emergency management agency map and state government to use the alert system to issue an emergency alert to all phones in a particular community, and it provides for testing of the system.
Senator Reynolds and Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, have introduced companion legislation in the House.
These are innocent people who have been mislaid. Just like a child who runs away from home, they wander aimlessly until they are picked up by family, friends, and law enforcement officials who find them. But in other situations, an elderly person who goes missing may simply have lost track of time. Or have become incapacitated and confused by a disease, stroke, accident, or surgery. And too often, after being reported missing, family members or neighbors are left to search for their loved one or witness the tragedy of their death.”
Senator Kel Seliger said, “Today, a senior may choose to live independently and visit with friends or neighbors but it is still just as dangerous for them to wander off as it would be for a child. However, unlike a child, an elderly person cannot call for help and may not hear a siren warning of an emergency. Nor is there any guarantee that emergency response will be rapid and effective in locating an individual who may wander off on a rural road, or in a nursing home or assisted living facility.”
The problem is compounded for these seniors who have lost their way as they wander from house to house, or wander away while visiting with friends. This is a form of elder abuse and has become a growing problem in rural areas of the state. The passage of the Senior Alert Act would help address the growing problem and provide the necessary safety protections for an emergency alert system for seniors living in rural areas of Texas.”
The Texas Elder Protection Act (S.B. 2354), sponsored by Senator Kel Seliger, would also provide the same protections to seniors as the Senior Alert Act, but specifically addresses the problem of motor vehicle accidents. A bill that is co-sponsored by Sen. Seliger (S.B. 1546) and Rep. James White (HB 4009), would update the laws on the state level to improve the protections for drivers of older vehicles.
Both bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
In the U.S. Senate, co-sponsors of S.B. 2354 are Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
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