Blackburn Fire and Evacuations update 10AM 8/23

Fire managers are preparing to announce the lifting of Level 3 evacuation orders in the Mosier area, as of 10AM Friday 8/23.

Level 1 evacuation orders (plan and begin preparations for evacuation) will go into effect for Mosier Creek Road south of 2855, Godberson Road within three miles of the south end of the road, and Vensel Road.

No other evacuation orders will be in effect for the Mosier area.

The only Level 3 orders in place will be within the fire area.

Fire crews were not able to burn out as planned over night last night, due to rain showers.

However, reduced fire behavior allowed strengthening of direct containment lines around the actual fire perimeter, and even though winds are forecast to pick up, operations supervisors do not expect significant runs outside the direct lines.

Weather permitting, crews will burn out between direct and indirect containment lines (the unburned fuels between the fire and the powerline and the 1710 and 1711 roads, from yesterday’s map).

If you see smoke or flame today at the Blackburn Fire, odds are it’s from burn-outs.  Rest assured Chief Appleton will promptly update this web site if the fire again runs out of control.

All good news, and unless things deteriorate or there are significant changes to the evacuation orders, we will not update again until the fire is completely controlled, hopefully in the next day or two.

Thanks for checking in! We appreciate your interest and support.

*     *     *

UPDATE 10:30AM 8/23

We’re taking this opportunity to put in a plug for cell phone users to sign up for the Wasco County Citizen Alert system*, by which the Sheriff’s office communicates emergency messages such as evacuation orders and changes to those orders.  Be aware that the system will only notify based on parameters set by the Sheriff’s office — if the address you register under is outside the notification area, you will not be notified (that’s usually a good thing…).

You don’t have to live in Mosier, or even in Wasco County.  And you can sign up for notification by text, email, fax and many other options.  If you live in Germany and are curious about emergencies in Mosier, you can sign up, as long as you can provide a street address.

Here’s a recent announcement and instructions.

*     *     *

Citizen Alerts:
The Wasco County Sheriff and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue recently launched a Citizen Alert system, which notifies by phone in emergencies.  It’s set up to make phone calls to just about every resident and business in the county, and it can be sorted in just about any way you can imagine as well as by a simple radius around a street address.

It has one weakness: cell phone numbers.  Cell phones don’t always have a local
address, and they might not be part of the records used in the Citizen Alert system.

If you want to be sure the Citizen Alert system will call your cell phone if there’s an emergency affecting a given area of the County, go to the County’s website, www.co.wasco.or.us, click on the button for “Citizen Alert Notification Sign Up”, and follow instructions.

The system does a lot more than just make phone calls.  It can deliver text, email,
fax, and it can take into account special needs such as if you can’t walk.  It hablas
Espanol.  And Tagalog!  But you have to tell it to do so.

You can set it to notify you if your kid’s school gets an emergency notification, as long as you can provide the address of the school.  If you live elsewhere but have friends or family in Mosier, you can sign up to get a 911 text if their house is in the evacuation zone of a fire — again, so long as you can provide the address.

Just specify the address you want attached to your notification and voila!  If any announcement encompasses that address, you will be notified.

You have to go to the website and “opt in” to those and many more features if you want them.

For more information, please call the Fire Chief at 541-478-3333.

* NOTE:  Prior versions of this post used another term to refer to the Citizen Alert system.  We were subsequently informed by counsel representing the trademark holder of the phrase “reverse 911® that our use of a similar phrase to refer to products and/or services other than those belonging to the trademark holder of “reverse 911®” is an “error”.  Mosier Fire sincerely regrets any exertion that our “error” may have caused the person whose job is to root around the internet looking for casual references to products and/or services other than those belonging to the trademark holder of the phrase “reverse 911®”.

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