Eagle Creek Fire Frequently Asked Questions

September 11, 2017

Q. How will residents be notified of reentry?

A. Many resources will be used to notify the public of reentry. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will use FlashAlert.Net, Twitter and Facebook pages to announce any changes to evacuation levels. Updates will also be provided on the Multnomah County Emergency Management website and Multnomah County’s main website (multco.us), as well as on corresponding social media: the main County Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the Emergency Management Facebook page.

The Sheriff’s Office will call residents in the Level 3 evacuation zone who provided information at the time of evacuation. This information was collected and entered into a system that allows officials to relay automatic messages to affected residents as evacuation levels are downgraded or lifted.

Members of the public are encouraged to sign up for publicalerts.org, which will send landline phone, mobile phone, text and email alerts to Multnomah County residents. You can register online or by calling 211.

The public can also find out any information related to the Eagle Creek Fire by dialing 211 toll-free or visiting 211info.org.

September 10 Corbett community meeting on Eagle Creek Fire

Officials will also notify media outlets of any changes to evacuation levels.  

Q. How will reentry happen?

A. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office wants residents to return home only once and not have to move anyone out again in the event the fire’s behavior changes. Reentry, when officials agree it’s safe and that defensible fire lines are in place and have been tested, will likely occur in stages.

Some streets or neighborhoods may be deemed safe and passable before others. Please be patient as officials work through these areas, as some may simply not be safe for the public to return yet. Warrendale and Dodson are examples of places where reentry could occur later, as road and forest conditions may be compromised.

As decisions are made on whether to downgrade or lift evacuation levels, the Sheriff’s Office will widely distribute that information, and be as specific as possible.

Q. What plans are in place for the Corbett School District, which is in a Level 2 (Get Set) evacuation area?

A. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office as well as fire officials have approved the opening of Corbett schools effective Monday, Sept. 11. Both the Sheriff’s Office and fire agencies will be in continuous communication with the District should any unanticipated changes occur.

The Sheriff’s Office and fire officials would never open the schools if they anticipated an evacuation event was possible; however, as a precaution, the District has an evacuation plan in place. Throughout the day, bus drivers will be “on-call” should the school need to evacuate. A reunification center would be set up at Mount Hood Community College.

For those who have specific questions about bus routes, email Todd Williams at twilliams@corbett.k12.or.us. Updates are also available on the Corbett School District website.

Q. How does the reentry of animals happen? When can animals return?

A. Animals may return at the same time as their owners are cleared to return.

To be reunited with your animal(s) as soon as possible, Multnomah County Animal Services recommends residents plan now for the transition back.

Sound Equine Options and their network of volunteers are available to assist with transporting animals. Before you reclaim your animal, please email Sound Equine Option at info@soundequineoptions.org with your estimated time of arrival. If you have arranged alternate care for animals and would like to pick them up or have them transported before reentry, you’re free to do so. Please let Sound Equine Options know if someone will be picking up your animals on your behalf.

Whoever picks up your animals should be prepared to show ID to verify they are the owner or approved transporter. If you do not know where your animals are being cared for or you need help transporting pets or livestock, contact Kim Mosiman at Sound Equine Options at (503) 888-3933.

If your animal is at the Multnomah County Animal Service shelter, call the dispatch number at (503) 988-7387. MCAS will be monitoring requests for assistance and allocating resources where possible until the fire situation is resolved.

Q. Are there health/safety precautions to take when animals return?

A. There shouldn’t be a risk to animals grazing. According to the Oregon State Veterinarian Office of the Dept. of Agriculture, unless there is evidence of toxic substances in ash that has accumulated as a result of the fire (which is highly unlikely in the case of a wildfire), there is little to no risk to livestock grazing.

Information on current air quality conditions is available through the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at 503-229-6397 or www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/   

Q. What can I do to protect myself or my animals when the air is smoky?

A. When the air is smoky, people may breathe in small particles that can irritate the throat the lungs. Some people are more likely to have symptoms of lung irritation than others. Anyone can check the air quality near them by visiting the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality online.

When the air quality is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups,” then children, seniors, and people with lung or heart conditions should stay indoors and, if they must be outside, avoid heavy activity. Here are some recommendations for sensitive groups.

Health officials recommend, when the air quality map shows “Unhealthy” for all, that everyone should avoid being outside if possible.

Q. Is trash still being picked up or mail delivered in the evacuation areas?

A.. Trash is not being picked up in the Level 3 evacuation areas, nor is mail being delivered. The restrictions that apply to all evacuation levels also apply to curbside services such trash pickup and mail delivery. Trash pickup and mail delivery are still occurring in evacuation Level 2 and Level 1 areas.

Q. How do I ensure there is no disruption to my Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits?
A. To avoid a gap in your SNAP benefits, please call a Multnomah County SNAP Enrollment Specialist at 503-928-9689 or email SNAP@multco.us. Enrollment specialists can ensure that benefits are continuous throughout the fire evacuation.

More Q & A's to come. ...   Call 211 or visit 211info.org for any information.