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Almeda Fire Resources

City of Talent
Almeda Fire Resources
Last updated September 25, 2020


TALENT COUNCIL HOLDS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL TO DISCUSS ALMEDA FIRE
The Talent City Council held a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for residents and others to discuss the Almeda Fire and its aftermath. In addition to the Council, city employees and representatives from Pacific Power, Avista, Recology, Rogue Valley Sewer Services and others were available to answer questions. 

To hear an audio recording of the meeting, click here.  The meeting begins at timestamp 25:00.  

 
REUNIÓN MUNICIPAL DE TALENT
Marque su calendario para el jueves 24 de septiembre a las 6 p.m. para una reunión municipal a través de Zoom. Esta será una gran oportunidad para que TODOS los residentes de Talent hagan preguntas, sean escuchados, compartan sus opiniones y ayuden 
a platicar sobre posible soluciones en el futuro. Busque el enlace en línea en cityoftalent.org, una vez que esté publicado. ¡Espero que nos pueda acompañar! 

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JACKSON COUNTY MULTI-AGENCY RESOURCE CENTERS OPEN
The Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC) are now open in Medford and smaller satellite offices in Talent, Phoenix, and Shady Cove.  All four MARC locations will be available from 8am-8pm seven days a week.

There will be representatives from FEMA, the Red Cross, local insurance agencies, and City representatives to offer assistance in the fire relief process.  FEMA  assists with the registration process for FEMA assistance.  Other agencies will assist with additional resources, including housing, food and clothing vouchers, assistance filing insurance claims, and cash assistance.  The satellite offices generally only have FEMA representatives.  There are Spanish speaking representatives at all four locations.  

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INFORMATION FOR JACKSON COUNTY VOTERS DISPLACED BY WILDFIRES
Ballots in Jackson County will begin being mailed on October 16, 2020.  If you know the address of where you will be able to receive mail at that time, you can add a temporary mailing address at www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote 

If the voter has a location where they are staying, the voter can update their mailing address by visiting www.oregonvotes.gov/myvote so their ballot will be mailed to that location.  A voter can also come to our office at Jackson County Elections 1101 W. Main St., Suite 201, Medford, to update their mailing address in person.

You can obtain a paper voter registration form at these local offices: USPS, DMV, Libraries, City Halls, County Clerk’s offices or online at https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL500.pdf

If the voter moves after updating their mailing address, they can correct it again as needed.

A voter who is displaced and temporarily out of the area can request an absentee ballot with an Absentee Ballot Request (SEL 111) https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/SEL111.pdf

Questions?  Please call Jackson County Elections at 541-774-6148 or by email at elections@jacksoncounty.org. Contact us on or after October 5th concerning additional options available to you for obtaining a ballot.
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RED CROSS OPENS SHELTER IN PHOENIX
The American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter September 22, 2020 at the Phoenix Elementary School.  The other shelter is at the Jackson County Expo in Medford.  Staff are providing bilingual resources and support 24 hours a day.  
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ROGUE CREDIT UNION WILDFIRE RELIEF FUND GRANT
The Rogue Credit Union Foundation's Wildfire Relief Fund is administering grants to local non-profit organizations that are working directly to meet the needs of families and communities affected by the wildfires.  

Applicant organizations must have a current 501(c)(3) status, be a government entity or school district.  Deadline is Friday, October 2.  For more information and to apply, visit their grant application website.  

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Almeda Fire Evacuation Zones Reduction

UPDATE 9/19/20 3:00 p.m.:
Source:  Jackson County Emergency Management 

Nearly all areas of the Almeda Fire areas have been downgraded from Level 2 “Be Set” to Level 1 "Be Ready." Due to concerns over the Almeda Fire burn areas, the Jackson County Sheriff's office has kept those zones as a Level 3 "Go."  

For more information see the Jackson County Emergency News  
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9/18/20
Information for Talent Residents and Business Owners with Properties Destroyed in the Almeda Fire - 
Please read this important notice

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Fire Debris and Disposal Information
Dry Creek Landfill and Rogue Transfer and Recycling Fire Debris Disposal Information
Remediation of propery destroyed or damaged by wildfire can be dangerous and should be approached with caution.  The area should be deemed safe by state and local authorities prior to clean-up activities.  For more information and how to follow procedures for specific debris types, read this release from Dry Creek and Rogue Disposal and Transfer Station/Construction and Demolition Debris page.  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2020 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Fray Crease, City Recorder
               541.535.1566
 
CITY OF TALENT ANNOUNCES LIFTING OF BOIL WATER ADVISORY
 
The City of Talent, Oregon announced at 1:30 p.m. today that the boil water advisory that has been in effect since last week has now been lifted. Residents should open water taps and flush water through potable water systems for approximately 10 minutes before starting to use water again for drinking and personal use. The flush requirement DOES NOT apply to irrigations systems or water systems not designed for personal use.
 
During the events of the Almeda fire that began on September 8, the City of Talent water system was depressurized due to a loss of power.  As a precaution, on September 10, the City released a boil water advisory to limit health risks caused by harmful bacteria that may have been present in the water supply while service was disrupted. Staff has been working to restore normal pressures in the system. 
 
The system has now been flushed and fully pressurized.  Repeated test results all show no bacteria or other harmful chemicals are present and the public is no longer advised to boil water. We continue to be under low water conditions until fall/winter rains returns. Please conserve and use water wisely.
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Talent Public Works staff have shut off the water to all of the homes in the burned areas.  Final water bills will be mailed in early October.  If you have a change of or updated mailing address, please email your new mailing address to ub@cityoftalent.org 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - links to a helpful document updated regularly by community volunteers.


Fire and Disaster Assistance Information

The Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC) are open in Medford and smaller satellite offices in Talent, Phoenix, and Shady Cove.  All four MARC locations will be available from 8am-8pm seven days a week.

There will be representatives from FEMA, the Red Cross, local insurance agencies, and City representatives to offer assistance in the fire relief process.  FEMA  assists with the registration process for FEMA assistance.  Other agencies will assist with additional resources, including housing, food and clothing vouchers, assistance filing insurance claims, and cash assistance.  The satellite offices generally only have FEMA representatives.  There are Spanish speaking representatives at all four locations.  


City of Talent Fire News – Reviewed or updated daily with City specific fire news.

Jackson County Emergency Services – Comprehensive list of resources to help, support and guide wildfire victims. 

Jackson County Essential Services (bilingual)

Escorts into Almeda Fire Zones – escorts by the Jackson County Almeda Fire Command Post are being scheduled on a daily basis starting at 8:00am to provide families an opportunity to retrieve essential items; call 541-613-5194. 

For general information regarding the disaster please call 541-776-7338.


After The Fire - a bilingual summary by the Department of Environmental Quality that outlines removing ash, debris, and hazardous substances from wildfire areas and incluces FEMA assistance information.  

FEMA Disaster Assistance Registration - Or call the hotline available 7 days a week (800) 621-3362

Rogue Valley Preparedness and Recovery Hub - a comprehensive site of wildfire and community updates for Jackson and Josephine Counties.  

News from Oregon State Representative Pam Marsh – Oregon House District 5, Southern Jackson County.

 
Air Quality

State of Oregon Air Quality TodayA daily index of air quality that reports how clean the air is and provides information on potential health risks.

State of Oregon DEQ Air Quality Interactive Map – Map-based air quality conditions for main Oregon cities.
 
Utilities and Services

Fire Debris and Disposal Information 

Transfer Station/Construction and Demolition Debris

Avista Letter to Almeda Fire Victims

Pacific Power Press Releases


City of Talent Drinking Water Advisory

Recology Services

Rogue Valley Sewer Services Plan for Sewer and Stormwater Services

 
Fire Cleanup and Debris Management

How to Safely Manage Ash and Debris from Burned Buildings – information from the Department of Environmental Quality on how to cleanup following the fires, along with helpful safety information when returning to survey property.

Hazardous Waste/Toxics Reduction Policy – from the Department of Environmental Quality that clarifies the requirements for management of building demolition waste. 
 
Business Resources

SBA press release announcing relief for businesses affected by fire from the federal Small Business Administration in English and Spanish

Talent Almeda Fire Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Access a Read Only Version of FAQs.
 
HEALTH AND SAFETY

How can I contact the police if I need them?
Police department phone lines are back in service. They can be reached at 541-535-1253. This line will only be answered during regular business hours. For after hours contact, call dispatch at 541-776-7206.

Is the air unhealthy to breathe?
Monitor air quality sites and follow recommendations.  Generally, stay indoors in a room with a HEPA filter running if possible. If you must be outside, wear a N95 or P100 mask. Avoid exercise if possible.

Remember that N95 masks work only if they are properly fitted.  See the CDC recommendations for fitting a N95 mask.  

 
This EPA Wildfire Smoke Fact Sheet indicates that N95 or P100 masks be worn. Some donated N95 masks are available at the hubs at Wagner Plaza and 385 Blackberry Court.

TRANSPORTATION
As of Tuesday, September 22, RVTD regular Routh 10 has resumed.  There is a detour using Creel Rd. instead of Arnos because Arnos Rd. is closed.  Some stops are roped off due to fire damage.  Please wait nearby is a safe place until the bus arrives.

UTILITIES, WATER AND POWER

Is the water from my faucet safe to drink?
Yes, at 1:30pm on September 16, 2020, the boil water advisory for the City of Talent was lifted.

What is the situation with power?
See Pacific Power's website for more information on power in Talent.  

If my home has been destroyed do I need to contact the power company?
See Pacific Power’s website for information on power in Talent.  Customers should contact Pacific Power's care center at 1-888-221-7070 24/7 if their power is out due to damage or if their home has been destroyed.  Teams are ready to assist customers in closing or suspending their account or assisting them with other service or billing questions.  

ESSENTIALS

I have no food/clothing/water/essentials. Is there a hub I can go to in Talent?
Wagner Plaza at the corner of Main and Talent Ave (location of Talent Maker City and The Grotto) has a distribution center for supplies and information.  Resources and supplies for all.  Open 7 days a week 9am-7pm.

CLEANUP

I want to visit the site where my home / business burned.  Why is there a wait?
Read the notice: Important Information for Talent Residents and Business Owners with Properties that were Destroyed in the Almeda Fire.   

The national FEMA team has 6,000 burned locations to examine for utility and building code enforcements.  This is to make sure people are safe.  Many home sites have hazardous material ("HAZMAT") because of the chemicals released when the homes burned.  

Homeowner Alert:  If homeowner insurance clients enter their home site and disturb the site, looking through the debris for example, the amount of the insurance claim might be reduced.  

The City is working closely with the Jackson County Sheriff to make the process as quick as possible.  The City will notify citizens on its website as soon as the FEMA, utility, code enforcement, fire department, and other steps are completes.  Then people will be encouraged to return to their home sites.  

City staff and Council know how difficult it is to be patient, some lost their homes, too.  They are eager and working hard to move forward as quickly as possible, for the benefit of the whole community.  

Why are we told to leave debris on site instead of beginning to clean it up? 

We are understandably eager to rise from our ashes and move on.  The City directives are prioritizing health and safety for residents.  Here is important information for Talent residents and business owners with properties that were destroyed in the Almeda Fire.  

HOUSING AND SHELTER

Refugio / Shelter; Cruz Roja Americana / American Red Cross, Cascades Region.  A new shelter opened September 22 in Phoenix.  It is focused on Latino families but any and everyone is welcome.  No government agencies are there:
Phoenix Elementary School
215 N. Rose St.


Where can I find/offer a room to rent in Talent?
Rogue Valley Homes and Shelter Releif
Home Share Oregon
Rogue Valley Fires Mutual Aid Housing
Access Housing Connection Portal


VOTING

The following information is from Fires in Oregon, Voter FAQ at the Oregon Secretary of State website.

How can I receive my ballot if I have been displaced by wildfires?
Ballots will being being mailed October 16th.  If you know an address where  you will be able to receive mail then you can add a temporary mailing address at oregonvotes.gov/myvote

1. If you want to use a paper form to provide a temporary address Download the Absentee Ballot Request Form

2.  You can pick up all of your mail (including ballots once they are mailed) at the post office that serves your permanent residence address.  

3.  Contact your county election office after October 1 for additional options they may have for pickup.  Find yours here.  


If I submit a change of address through USPS will my ballot be forwarded to the new address?
No.  Ballots are not forwardable.  It is one of the security features of our system.  You must inform election officials of your temporary address using one of the methods above in order to have your ballot sent there. 

Do I need to register to vote from my temporary address? 
No.  You do not need to re-register to vote if you are living somewhere temporarily because you have been displaced by wildfires.  You just need to let elections officials know where to mail your ballot by one of the methods above.

Will I be able to vote on the local measures where my permanent address is located even if I am temporarily living outside that area? 
Yes.  The ballot you receive will contain the contests for your residential address, not your temporary mailing address.

What if my mailbox was destroyed? 
If mail cannot be delivered to your home or mailbox, it will be held at your local post office and you can pick it up there.

SERVICES

Where can I find County services in addition to the Expo grounds?
Jackson County Emergency Operations Center is getting the resource and recovery efforts underway.  Priority will  be getting a "one stop shop" location where the public impacted by this every can gather to receive assistance from service provides.  Called a MARC (Multi-Agency Resource Center) this facility will have FEMA representatives, insurance providers, Assessor, DMV, mental health and others located under one roof.  We are hopeful the MARC will be operational withing the next week.  Best location to be announced.  The chosen location will also have public transportation access.  

TALENT RECOVERS - works to provide recovery support and resources for those affected by the Almeda Firs.  TALENT RECOVERS was initiated by the Board of the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent.  For more information go to TalentRecovers.com 


Oregon is officially a disaster area and able to receive FEMA assistance.  How do I apply?
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's office supplied this information from FEMA - First contact your insurance agency, then register on the FEMA website at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ and select APPLY.  Also, you can call 1-800-621-3362

Here is a link to their FAQs:  
http://www.disasterassistance.gov/help/faqs and FEMA Individual Assistance Program Fact Sheet.

Are there resources for filing insurance claims, finding a counselor, finding shelter and essentials in Talent?
The Jackson County website has excellent information on immediate assistance.

La Clinica is a health care provider assisting low-income families.  They have a mobile unit that also tends to house unhoused populations.  La Clinica will be at the Jackson County Expo and shelters for the next few days.  Click here to see the calendar.  Information is also available on Facebook at La Clinica Home.

If my home burned, will I still pay property tax?
Contact the Jackson County Tax Assessor's office.  The rolls are confirmed in October of each year.  Homes that were destryoed will not automatically be removed from the tax rolls.  Contact them to discuss proration of annual property taxes.        

Is there someone I can talk to for emotional support?
Contact the Rogue Valley Emotional Wellness Hotline, a hotline for anyone in the Southern Oregon area experiencing grief and loss associated with the recent fires.   

Someone I care for is missing. Who can help?
If you are missing family or a loved one, here is a form you can fill out. You may also call 911 to report a missing person. This forms will help Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to reunite loved ones.  

Grant for housing relief from Oregon Association of Realtors
The Oregon Association of Realtors (OAR) has secured a $500,000 grant for housing relied through NAR's REALTOR Relief Foundation for the Oregon wildfires disaster.   

Who should apply?  Any full-time resident and U.S. citizen or legally admitted U.S. resident who has lost their home to the Oregon wildfire diaster and is in need of support for either of the following:  1) Monthly mortgage expense for the primary residence that was damaged by the Oregon Wildfires Disaster or 2) Rental cost due to displacement from the primary residence resulting from the Oregon Wildfires Disaster.  Relief assistance is limited to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant per household.  Grants will be jointly payable to applicant and mortgage lender or landlord.  

Deadline for application submissions is November 15, 2020.  
Download application here.  

I would like to support the citizens of Talent.  What is the best way to do this?
The Wagner Plaza distribution center updates our list of needs daily.  Gift cards (Ashland and Medford), especially hardware stores and gas cards, and meal cards (Ashland and Medford) are especially appreciated.

Bring donations directly to the distribution center at Wagner Plaza, corner of Main x Talent Avenue in Talent.  


How can I volunteer?
Fill out the Rogue Valley Fire Relief Volunteers form online.  This will connect you to people and organizations that need your help.  For more information email talentvolunteers@gmail.com

Where can I donate to help?
Give to the Rogue Valley Relief Fund.  Funds for short and long term response and rebuilding will be distributed by local Rogue Valley organizations that know our communities well.  

Any other questions? Find more information here:
 
SOUTHERN OREGON FIRE INFO 2020:
for those displaced and for those who want to be of service