Homeless Encampments Sweeps to Start
Dozens of individuals living at the encampments alongside the highways in Salem near Market Street were notified last week to remove their belongings. The encampments have grown tremendously over the last year due to relaxed regulations due to COVID-19. However, the recent lifting of said restrictions have allowed agencies to engage in much needed cleanups. Starting Monday, July 19, ODOT crews will pick up trash and belongings from 9am-3pm.
Multiple deaths have been reported at these sites – some from infections, being struck by vehicles, or being met with violence. Advocates have continued to say that there is not enough shelter for individuals. Progress has been made with the new UGM shelter and the Super 8 purchase, but it is not enough. Salem must allocate more resources to this issue.
There are nearly a dozen wildfires burning in Oregon. Totaling over 200,000 acres the Bootleg Fire is currently the largest fire burning right now – approximately 11 miles northeast of Sprague River. With over 1,700 personnel working to put out the blaze, Bootleg is around 5% containment. It has been reported that the major fuels involved in this fire is timber, brush, and timer litter. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
The second largest fire is the Jack Fire located in Douglas County east of Roseburg. At around 14,000 acres, it has nearly 800 personnel working to put out the fire and is around 20% containment. Closed timber litter, timber, and brush are the reported fuels involved.
Although there are some major fires, it is not guaranteed that we will have a repeat of last year’s Labor Day fires. Last year’s fires were fueled by a once-in-a-generation windstorm during the driest point of the season.
A database of the fires can be found here: https://data.statesmanjournal.com/fires/.