State Representative
Nancy Nathanson

Summer 2023: Fire season, cameras, alerts, and roads

Roadwork alert

Summer brings vacation or time off for some people and a respite from gray skies. It also brings dry weather, allowing more road projects (and disruptions) and signals increased fire danger. This short newsletter features a few of those points.

Now that I'm back in Eugene I've been meeting with people about local issues - and gardening. I'll send another newsletter or two very soon with a summary of the recent legislative session that wrapped up on June 25 and notes about local events.


If you missed my last e-news, here's the link to Spring 2023.

Fire season: alerts and resources

ODF wildfire news

Current wildfire information and reports from Oregon Department of Forestry, and ODF wildfire blog

AlertWildfire webpage

AlertWildfire information and public access for real-time cameras

active fire map

Wildfire Response and Recovery: sheltering, air quality, statistics, evacuation information,

and lots more

Legislative actions to help Oregonians combat drought and fire risk

A number of specific budget allocations are aimed at preventing and combating wildfire, including money for pilot projects for firefighter apprenticeship training, completing a hazards map, and funding for the State Fire Marshal for staffing, immediate response, and engine maintenance.

Prescribed burning is a critical tool in the management of Oregon forests, protecting communities from extreme wildfires. The legislature set up the Prescribed Fire Liability Fund to support landowners as they navigate the risk of escaped prescribed burns, and communities engaging in cultural burns.

Another important effort is related to drought. The legislature passed policies and funding for technical assistance to farmers to improve water management practices, enhancements and restoration to critical drinking water systems, and robust data collection to better detect future risk and coordinate water management. Additional funding is available for drought and water programs related to place-based water planning, agricultural water technical assistance, water reuse and recycling, and small community water systems.

UO Hazards Lab and AlertWildfire

Oregon Hazards Lab

at University of Oregon

Here's some of the team for The Oregon Hazards Lab when I visited them last week. I got a great briefing on AlertWildfire. OHAZ doubled the cameras in just a year, after funding from the previous legislative session. They also oversee 226+ seismic monitoring stations. I teamed up with former Congressman Peter DeFazio to secure federal and state funding for ShakeAlert.

The Oregon Hazards Lab, founded in 2018, partners with ShakeAlert, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, AlertWildfire, and SAGE, a "software-defined sensor network: Cyberinfrasture for AI at the Edge."

UO Hazards Lab AlertWildfire

Cameras, earthquake sensors, and other tools need communications infrastructure to send data to home base and make it available over the internet. Connections need to be able to survive through earthquake shaking, power grid failures, fire, and internet service provider disruptions. OHAZ partners with public agencies and private sector communications providers.

UO Hazards Lab AlertWildfire

You might recognize the landscape in this shot. I captured the image before the automatic pan: the camera turns several times a minute to cover 360°.

HD pan-tilt-zoom cameras have near-infrared capabilities and up to 32x zoom, with a range of up to 40 miles in the daytime and 60 to 80 miles at night.

UO Hazards Lab AlertWildfire

Showing 36 cameras in continuous operation. First responders, key federal agencies, Red Cross, and several others have access to cameras to help with detection and emergency response strategies.

For public access start here.

Alert Oregon

OHAZ is partnering with the US Dept. of Homeland Security to install wildfire detection sensors in the Willamette Valley. DHS is supporting R&D for new sensor technology that uses air quality changes to detect emerging wildfires.

UO Hazards Lab AlertWildfire

This picture shows the beginning of a recent arson fire in southern Oregon.

TED talk from Univ. of Nevada: Crowd Sourcing Wildfire Detection.

UO Hazards Lab AlertWildfire

Wildfire Response and Recovery: sheltering, air quality, evacuation information, statistics, and lots more

Sign up for Emergency Alerts

Each jurisdiction has its own unique notification system. The notification system requires only basic information like your name and phone number.

Lane Alerts for Lane County explains that you will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more.

Look under the "Weather alerts" tab to sign up for any of these options: Fire; Wind; Winter weather, snow, and ice; Flood; Tsunami; Marine storm warnings; Non-Precipitation.

Emergency Alert

Sign up here to get Emergency Alerts

Road work in our area

Beltline Hwy OR569

Two ramps closed on eastbound Beltline Highway (OR 569)

On July 17 ODOT closed the eastbound Beltline Highway on-ramp from Prairie Road and eastbound Beltline Highway Exit 7 off-ramp onto Northwest Expressway.

The ramps will remain closed 24/7 for up to seven weeks to replace bridge rails.

Visit the project webpage for more information about the work.

Beltline OR 569 road work

I-105 Work beginning August 1

Crews are setting up the work zone for I-105. Expect delays, noise, lane and ramp closures. There will be two weekend closures with traffic shifted. The schedule allows ODOT and contractors to get more work done per shift so construction will finish faster, and also creates a safer work zone for the crews. Due to location and safety, there is no pedestrian access during construction. Speed will be reduced to 45 m.p.h. in the work zone.

I-105 road work


Aug. 1-3: Paving from Delta Highway to about Country Club Road. Expect single lane closures nightly, 8 PM-5 AM.

Aug. 4-7: Starting at 8 PM traffic will shift to the westbound lanes near Country Club Road to past Coburg Road for paving and permanent striping on the eastbound lanes. Lanes will reopen by 5 AM Monday. 

Aug. 8-10: Paving eastbound lanes nightly, toward Springfield, 8 PM-5 AM.

Aug. 11-14: Starting at 8 PM, traffic will shift to the eastbound lanes from Country Club Road to past Coburg Road for paving and permanent striping on the westbound lanes. Lanes will reopen by 5 AM Monday. 

Aug. 15-?: Applying new driving surfaces to the bridges and finish paving the on and off-ramps. Expect single lane closures nightly, Sunday night through Friday morning, 8 PM-5 AM.

Next: install rumble strips and permanent striping. 

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