At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has deployed a commutations coordinator and communication assets to Oregon in response to the ongoing wildfires.
Upon arrival, the commutations coordinator’s primary role will be to coordinate with the communication leads in the field and also with the statewide wireless interoperability coordinator in Oregon’s State Emergency Operations Center. The deployment is scheduled for 14 days.
Cal OES also will be sending 140 radios that Oregon will borrow for 60-90 days. The radios will be used for wildland fire response.
As of Sept. 17, massive wildfires throughout Oregon have killed eight people and burned more than 1 million acres across nine counties – Marion, Clackamas, Lane, Lake, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lincoln. Similarly, California has been battling unprecedented wildfires since mid-August after lightning strikes and extreme weather conditions sparked numerous blazes statewide, burning a state record of more than 3.3 million acres.
Cal OES continues to monitor operations in Oregon and requests for additional EMAC assistance. EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.
California has regularly offered support to assist in response and recovery for disasters throughout the United States and internationally through EMAC requests. Since 1992, California-based State/National US&R Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of other state, national, and even international disasters including 2017’s Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, 1992 Hurricane Iniki (Hawaii), the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami catastrophe, the 2017 Mexico City, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, and numerous hurricanes in 2018.