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Senator Merkley Visits Fire Crews, County Leaders

Some of them said they wanted extra air resources to fight the fires.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 7:02 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) spent the day in Southern Oregon hearing from fire crews and county leaders about the many fire fights in the region.

Lily Morgan, a Josephine County commissioner says hospitals in her county are full of people with smoke-related illnesses.

"Even my grandmother is affected by the smoke -- more congestion, more coughs," Morgan said. "So you see the CCO's and the local healthcare providers having to deal with the ramifications."

Merkley heard from 12 different people, from a wide range of agencies.

Some of them said they wanted extra air resources to fight the fires.

Merkley says he wants his colleagues in Washington D.C. to work across the aisle to make sure this year's fire season isn't repeated.

"We need to take a look at the tools in the immediate toolbox for fighting fires," Merkley said. "But it also means that all of us have to come together across party lines and every which way [to] recognize that the carbon pollution that's driving a hotter planet is really the driver behind all of this."

Morgan also expressed frustration with the amount of resources lost from the fires. 

She said her county has lost $8 million to $9 million from burnt forest so far. That money would have gone toward the county juvenile shelter for the next two years.

Some of those forests had been destroyed 15 years ago in another fire. She said those trees don't have any value when their salvaged because they're too young. 

"The value of the tree is at a certain point in life when it’s best to harvest it harvest it before it starts dying," Morgan said. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31503

Reported Deaths: 538
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6938136
Marion452292
Washington436959
Umatilla292841
Clackamas231461
Malheur157525
Jackson10914
Lane105916
Deschutes78912
Yamhill74514
Jefferson5168
Polk51115
Morrow4906
Linn48013
Lincoln47513
Union4352
Benton2886
Klamath2772
Wasco2733
Hood River2480
Douglas2213
Josephine1942
Columbia1551
Coos1470
Clatsop1270
Baker912
Crook611
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake280
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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