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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
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:55 AM

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.

Cases: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
Columbia204732
Union159024
Lincoln151122
Wasco149831
Crook136824
Hood River124634
Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3894556

Reported Deaths: 64228
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles127625424623
San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
Orange2787205141
Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
Kern1123181417
Fresno1036371736
Alameda939531272
Ventura829751041
San Joaquin760341446
Contra Costa74030830
Stanislaus650191085
Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
Sonoma31965328
Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
El Dorado10774120
Napa1025281
Sutter9965115
Yuba681651
San Benito622963
Lassen586826
Tehama581566
Nevada518375
Humboldt489753
Mendocino457150
Tuolumne433473
Lake396364
Amador381648
Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
Colusa233918
Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
Inyo145338
Mono13125
Plumas7626
Modoc5737
Mariposa4857
Trinity4486
Sierra1240
Alpine890
Unassigned440
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