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Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for the 2020 Wildfire Season.
We are closely tracking the 2020 Wildfire Season and the related healthcare and public health impacts.

High-Level Situation Summary
According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and National Interagency Fire Center, fire activity is present in 12 states, where 102 active large fires have burned more than 4,350,558 acres.  

California

  • California has seen two new fires expand rapidly over the past week, the Creek Fire and the North Complex Fire. Both fires are located in forested, mountainous areas and are not rapidly approaching major urban sites, major direct impacts on populated areas should be limited. 
  • August Complex Fire (746,607 acres, 25% contained): Much of the smoke surrounding urban areas in California is attributed to this fire, the largest in state history. Although the smoke from the August Complex fire has spread across the state, it is not burning nearby to any urban centers, and we do not anticipate any supply chain impacts at this time. 
  • Creek Fire (175,893 acres, 6% contained): The Creek Fire, located in Fresno county in the Sierra National Forest has grown quickly to cover almost 176,000 acres and has necessitated the rescue of hundreds of people by National Guard helicopters. Multiple fire tornadoes have been observed through Doppler radar data.  
  • North Complex Fire (244,203 acres, 23% contained): On Tuesday 9/8/20, the North Complex Fire entered Butte County driven by high winds, heavy fuels, and steep terrain burning over 67,000 acres. Berry Creek CA reported “a massive wall of fire” descended the mountain and hit the town, spurring a mass evacuation. 

Washington

  • The Cold Springs Fire (172,000 acres, 10% contained) continues to grow, while the Pearl Hill Fire (174,000 acres, 10% contained) is stable. Both are located on the border of Douglas and Okanogan counties.  
  • Level 2 & 3 evacuation orders and road closures remain in effect. The cities of Brewster, Bridgeport, and Omak were drastically affected by these wildfires. However, even with fire spread, it is unlikely these fires will impact major urban areas. As such, we do not anticipate any supply chain impacts at this time. 

Oregon

  • Oregon’s largest priorities are the Holiday Farm (144,694 acres, 0% contained), Beachie Creek (186,856 acres, 0% contained), and Riverside Fires (120,857 acres, 0% contained).  
  • Beachie Creek Fire is burning on the border of Marion and Linn counties, most drastically impacting the towns of Gates, Mill City, and Lyons. This fire grew to over 131,000 acres overnight on Monday, and 4,000 more in the past 24 hours.  
  • Riverside Fire is currently 2 miles Southeast of Estacada and 30 miles Southeast of Portland. Extreme fire conditions and winds are pushing rapid growth on this fire. 
  • Holiday Farm Fire began yesterday, and evacuation orders are in effect for the communities of Lane County.  
  • Level 2 & 3 evacuation orders are still in effect for all above fires. Air quality is expected to be very unhealthy throughout the region today.  
  • Beachie Creek Fire and Riverside Fire reside very nearby one another and could pose a threat to Oregon’s highway system if large fire spread to the west towards Salem occurs. The Holiday Farm fire has closed much of I-26, and has the potential for broader impacts with severe western fire spread. However, as nearby cities do not contain vital infrastructure operations, we do not anticipate any supply chain impacts at this time. 
Future Fire Outlook
  • Above normal significant fire potential is expected across much of the Great Basin, northern California, Pacific Northwest, and northern Rockies through September.  
    • Given the dry fuels, any lightning will likely result in increased fire activity and above normal significant large fire potential through September.  
    • With above normal fire potential through the North Pacific, we expect wildfires to continue through September. Although there were rolling blackouts through California in August due to extreme heat and overload on the electrical grid, with temperatures cooling in the next few months, we hope this will lessen the necessity for the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) system to be activated. More information can be found here. 
State-Level Disaster Declarations
Oregon
  • FEMA declared an Emergency on September 10 for the Oregon Wildfires, covering an incident period beginning September 8. The Declaration affects the following counties: Tillamook, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Lincoln, Jefferson, Linn, Lane, Douglas, Jackson, and Klamath.  
  • On August 19, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-35, proclaiming a statewide State of Emergency due to the imminent threat of wildfire. 
    • Subsequently, on September 9, Governor Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-41, invoking the Emergency Conflagration Act statewide due to the ongoing fires and statewide threat of fire. 
California
  • FEMA issued a Major Disaster Declaration on August 22 for the California Wildfires, covering an incident period beginning August 14. The declaration affects the following counties: Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. 
    • Three additional counties (Plumas, Butte, and Yuba) are eligible for Public Assistance. 
  • Governor Newsom issued a statewide State of Emergency on August 18 due to fires and extreme heat conditions.   
    • Governor Newsom also declared a State of Emergency for specific counties affected by fires including Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou. 
Washington
  • Governor Inslee declared a State of Emergency on August 19. The order is in effect until September 30.
Rx Open
Rx Open is currently activated for the nation due to wildfire season as well as COVID-19 and hurricane season. Rx Open was last updated at 2pm on Friday, September 11. The map is currently being updated once daily on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Pharmacy status has not been significantly impacted by the wildfires at this time. 

  • California is reporting 93.4% of pharmacies as open. 
  • Oregon is reporting 94.5% of pharmacies as open. 
  • Washington is reporting 95.59% of pharmacies as open. 
Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Prescription Refill Guidance: 
    • Oregon: Under a declared emergency or in an area engaged in disaster assistance, a pharmacist may dispense up to a 30-day refill of a prescription drug without a valid prescription. 
    • California: Under the 2007 California Health and Safety Code, a prescription for a non-schedule II drug may be refilled without authorization from the prescriber if the prescriber is unavailable and if the pharmacist believes that not refilling would be a hazard to the patient’s health. The refill should only be a reasonable amount that can sustain the patient until the prescriber can be reached.  
    • Washington: When under a State of Emergency, pharmacists in Washington may issue up to a 30-day refill for non-controlled prescriptions or up to a 7-day refill for certain controlled substances. 
  • Access and Re-entry:
    • Oregon: There is no formal re-entry program. More information can be found here.  
    • California: There is no formal re-entry program. 
    • Washington: There is no formal re-entry program. More information can be found here. 
  • Healthcare Facility Status:
  • Evacuation and Sheltering:  
    • Oregon: 
      • Temporary shelters are open in 12 counties in Oregon (Benton, Douglas, Jackson, Tillamook, Multnomah, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Deschutes, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas counties). 
      • The City of Eugene is opening community centers for individuals with compromised respiratory systems. Limited capacity exists at these community centers due to COVID-19. 
      • The American Red Cross set up temporary evacuation sites in Clackamas Town Center and the Oregon Convention Center. 
    • California: 
      • There are at least 119,000 evacuees in California. Many evacuees are being turned away from shelters due to social distancing measures in-place. 
      • The American Red Cross is partnering with local health departments (LCDSS in Lake County) to open shelters. 
      • Traditional large congregate shelters are not open. 
        • At least five hotels in Santa Cruz are filled to capacity. 
        • The Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz is filled to capacity. 
    • Washington: 
      • Authorities issued a Level 3 Evacuation Notice in Mansfield. Due to low visibility, all routes out of town were obstructed, and residents were ordered to shelter-in-place. 
      • Those in high-threat areas are on stand-by to evacuate if needed. 
  • COVID-19 Testing:
    • It is likely COVID-19 testing will be disrupted due to impacts of fires, which will make contact tracing difficult and potentially worsen COVID-19 spread in impacted areas. Currently, most disruptions in testing are at the county-level. Statewide testing facility closures are not in place at this time.  
      • Oregon: OHSU drive-up testing sites are closed until Saturday (9/12). 
      • California: Los Angeles County has closed six (6) testing sites due to poor air quality through at least today (9/11): 
      • Washington: Skagit County has temporarily shut down its drive-thru testing site at Skagit Valley College at least through today (9/11) due to wildfire smoke. Snohomish County has closed two (2) testing sites due to poor air quality. 
Other Actions
If you become aware of situation(s) that may adversely affect healthcare supply or care in the affected area, or if you would like to request the assistance of Healthcare Ready, please contact us at Alerts@HealthcareReady.org or call 1.866.247.2694.

We are standing by, ready to assist those in the impacted areas. For those of you in the affected areas, our thoughts are with you.

Thank you,
Healthcare Ready Support Team
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