Rep. Walden holds local meeting on fire preparedness and COVID-19

Firefighting will be different this year, because of COVID-19.

Posted: Jul 8, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2020 6:30 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- On Wednesday, Representative Greg Walden sat down with multiple fire agencies to talk about the 2020 fire season and COVID-19. 

"Obviously fighting fires is tough enough; throw COVID-19 on top of it and you've got an additional unprecedented challenge," said Rep. Walden. "I think it's really positive news their initial plan is to do a very aggressive initial attack and get these fires out quickly. I think that will benefit us all."

Officials from the Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management made it clear that this season, fires need to be put out as soon as possible — while also making sure it's done safely.

"From a health standpoint, from a reduction in smoke standpoint, and certainly from a cost standpoint," said Rep. Walden.

The other big topic is how firefighting will look during a pandemic. Firefighters will need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Huge fire camps are also not going to be used this year. Different Firefighter groups will be spread out.

"I think the biggest concern I have coming out of the meeting is the issue of testing," said Walden. These fire departments are still figuring out how testing will work if someone gets infected or if there is a spread.

"Making sure our firefighter's health is maintained, is essential," Walden continued. It was clear that there is still a lot to learn when it comes to firefighting during a pandemic.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 157079

Reported Deaths: 2296
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah32006550
Washington21377217
Marion18625287
Clackamas13456191
Lane10373131
Jackson8569118
Umatilla770982
Deschutes602765
Yamhill380069
Linn361357
Malheur336358
Polk308845
Klamath281655
Douglas259255
Josephine240056
Benton236618
Jefferson197630
Coos159121
Union130519
Columbia127721
Wasco122226
Lincoln113920
Hood River107129
Morrow105014
Crook78118
Clatsop7796
Baker6769
Curry4387
Tillamook4302
Lake3836
Harney2786
Grant2301
Wallowa1445
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3596760

Reported Deaths: 54134
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles120186822015
Riverside2909043892
San Bernardino2877823137
San Diego2627813385
Orange2625504173
Santa Clara1116381822
Kern104181942
Fresno961841488
Sacramento941821510
Alameda812551289
Ventura78368883
San Joaquin672841182
Contra Costa63297708
Stanislaus56702957
Tulare48203770
Monterey42404331
San Mateo39305525
San Francisco34526432
Santa Barbara32301423
Solano30305167
Merced29376413
Sonoma28417303
Imperial26970641
Kings22175227
Placer20035232
San Luis Obispo19835246
Madera15624214
Santa Cruz14790187
Marin13358198
Yolo12920185
Shasta11102179
Butte11050169
El Dorado9204100
Napa910975
Sutter892398
Yuba579539
San Benito579061
Lassen562325
Tehama511852
Nevada403374
Tuolumne397259
Mendocino383944
Amador348441
Humboldt326633
Lake318541
Glenn224123
Colusa214213
Calaveras192849
Siskiyou179014
Inyo133437
Mono12194
Del Norte10275
Plumas6546
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
Sierra1000
Alpine840
Unassigned00
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