Klamath Basin News, Monday, Aug. 1- McKinney Fire near Yreka in Klamath National Forest Grows to 52,000 Acres Burned; No Containment Yet

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Monday, August 1, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Air Quality Alert, Fire Weather Watch in effect from August 2, 12:00 PM PDT until August 2, 11:00 PM PDT
Red Flag Warning in effect from August 1, 12:00 PM PDT until August 1, 11:00 PM PDT

Today Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Areas of smoke. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming westerly to 8 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Overnight, scattered showers and thunderstorms. Widespread smoke, cloudy, with a low around 63. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph.

Tuesday A 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Areas of smoke but mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming west northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Overnight a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm, with a low around 61.
Wednesday A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Calm wind becoming west southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 91.
Friday A slight chance of showers after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 92.
Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 58.
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 92.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 93.

Today’s Headlines

What is known as the McKinney Fire near Yreka, California broke out Friday afternoon in the Klamath National Forest along the California-Oregon border and exploded in size over the weekend. 

Currently the state’s largest fire in California has now burned through 52,000 acres and is advancing on homes and farmland, forcing over 2000 residents to evacuate as of yesterday.

Two people were found dead Sunday morning inside a vehicle that burned in the path of the fire, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said. The two were found on a residential driveway along Doggett Creek Road near Highway 96, the sheriff’s office posted today  (Monday morning) on Facebook. Officials have not released any more information on them.

As the day begins the blaze is 0% contained, and firefighters face a long battle ahead as lightning and thunderstorms complicated efforts while the flames raced through dry vegetation. Heavy smoke over the fire helped slow its growth Sunday but also kept firefighting aircraft grounded, the US Forest Service said in a Sunday night update.

Oregon state Rep. Dacia Grayber, her husband, both firefighters, were camping near the California state line when they woke up Saturday to orange skies, hot wind gusts, lightning and blowing ash, she said on Twitter. They evacuated from the campground knowing one of them may return on deployment if the fire grows.

“In 22+ yrs of fire I’ve never experienced anything like this fire behavior at night. It felt absolutely surreal and not just a little apocalyptic,” Grayber tweeted.

The fire is just one symptom of the American West’s historic drought and the human-caused climate change crisis, which has caused more frequent and more severe wildfires. California’s persistent drought conditions have set the scene for rapid fire spread in the forest, with the fires burning extremely dry, receptive fuels, according to the forest service.

Sprinting through dry brush, grass and timber, the fire activity has been extreme, with the flames running uphill, and spotting further out, according to fire officials.

“Klamath National Forest is a big and beautiful forest, but it also has some steep and rugged terrain. And with that, coupled with the high temperatures, low humidity, they all come into play and make it a very extreme fire danger situation right now,” Tom Stokesberry of the US Forest Service told reporters.

The fire left a path of destroyed vehicles, scorched structures and haze-filled skies along Highway 96, according to video recorded Saturday by Kirk Eadie, EMS manager for Happy Camp Ambulance.

About 650 firefighting personnel have converged on the blaze, attacking the flames from the ground and the air and working to defend evacuated homes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency Saturday for Siskiyou County, saying the blaze has destroyed homes and threatened critical infrastructure.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has mobilized three structural task forces at the request of California to the McKinney Fire. The fire is burning in near Klamath, California. The task forces are from Marion, Linn, & Clackamas County. They will be tasked with protecting communities.

The OSFM received the request for resources from California through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). These three taskforces are made up of 41 firefighters, 12 engines, and three water tenders. The task forces left for California Sunday morning should be arriving late Sunday afternoon.

OSFM’s priority is Oregon and its communities. Currently, the OSFM has no activations or mobilizations of the Oregon fire service in Oregon. Oregon uses the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to respond to local, regional, and statewide fires. With weather and fire activity OSFM feels comfortable that the OFMAS has the capacity, should resources be needed. 

“Our office has a long-standing mutual aid relationship with Cal OES, and we are more than willing to lend a helping hand,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “Last summer, California sent resources to help on the Bootleg Fire in our time of need. The partnership between our two states has the same end goal, protecting communities and saving lives.”

The task forces will be in California for up to two weeks. 

Fatal Crash State Route 140- Klamath CountyTow Truck Driver Killed

On Friday, July 29, 2022, at approximately 2:13 A.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a report of a pedestrian struck on State Route 140 near milepost 49.

A Ford F-150 was traveling eastbound on State Route 140 when it struck a tow truck operator, who was outside of his tow truck retrieving a vehicle from the side of the highway. The tow truck operator, identified as Spencer Hughes (32) of Klamath Falls, was transported by ambulance but died en route.

The investigation is ongoing. OSP was assisted on scene by Rocky Point Fire. Oregon State Police 

No photo description available.

Each year, hundreds of first responders and roadside workers are struck along our roadways. Oregon law requires drivers to Move Over or Slow Down when approaching stationary vehicles with flashing lights. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the law.

Drivers must move over to a non-adjacent lane (or slow down) when approaching the rear of police, fire, and ambulance vehicles, as well as any motor vehicle that is stopped and is displaying required warning lights or hazard lights, or a person is indicating distress by using emergency flares or posting emergency signs.

If you can safely move over when approaching a vehicle stopped for an emergency, do so. If you can’t, slow down.

Slow down means reducing your speed by at least five miles per hour below the posted speed of the roadway.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon is issuing an air quality advisory for Jackson and Klamath Counties through Friday.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today issued an air quality advisory effective through Friday August 5 for Jackson and Klamath Counties due to smoke from the McKinney fire in Siskiyou County, near Yreka, California.  DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor smoke in the area.

Because smoke levels can change quickly it asks people to check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on a smartphone.

It says smoke can irritate “eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people.”  DEQ offers the following advise to protect yourself and family when smoke levels are high:

  • Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it’s too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions.
  • Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
  • When air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out homes and businesses.
  • If you have a breathing plan for a medical condition, be sure to follow it and keep any needed medications refilled.
  • Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn. Select a NIOSH-approved respirator with a N, R, or P alongside the number 95, 99 or 100. Learn how to put on and use a respirator. Respirators won’t work for children as they don’t come in children’s sizes. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their health care provider before wearing a respirator.
  • Additional resources:

16 fires reported in Oregon including New fire with evacuations near Lake Billy Chinook and the McKinney Fire on Oregon California Border — McKinney Near Oregon Border Now Over 55-Thousand Acres; Two Dead

Thunderstorms and extreme heat have brought multiple new wildfires across Oregon, from a gigantic blaze on the border of Oregon and California to new wildfires in the southern and central Cascade Range all the way to the Sisters and Lake Billy Chinook area.

Air quality has declined across much of the state, large parts of the Pacific Crest Trail have been closed and new wildfires have been popping up and spreading rapidly Sunday evening. Red flag warnings for thunderstorms and “abundant lightning” have been issued for much of eastern, southwest and central parts of the state through Monday evening.

Here are the latest updates.

Fly Creek Fire brings evacuations near Lake Billy Chinook, 16 total wildfires reported in Central Oregon

The recently-ignited Fly Creek Fire has brought evacuations to the area around the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon, fire officials said Sunday night.

The fire is estimated at 30 acres, officials said, in the Balancing Rocks area northeast of Camp Sherman. Calmer winds slow the blaze’s growth in the evening.

The Perry South and Monty campgrounds were evacuated on a level 3 “no now” order from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

A level 2 “get SET” evacuation notice was issued for the Three Rivers.

Cove Palisades State Park at Lake Billy has not been evacuated, according to state parks officials.

“Crews and a dozer will be working into the night,” fire officials said.

All totaled, 16 wildfires were reported due to lightning Sunday night, most of them small. Small fires have been confirmed near Cultus Lake, south of Wickiup Reservoir and near Wolf Mountain Lookout on the Ochoco National Forest, according to Central Oregon Fire information.

“We’re off and running,” fire information officer Kassidy Kern said. “Firefighters will look for 9 more fires that were reported this evening but have not yet been found. They’ll resume response efforts in the morning.”

Windigo Fire grows to 1,200 acres

The Windigo Fire, burning in the area of Windigo Pass south of Diamond Peak, is estimated at 1,200 acres, according to the Forest Service. The fire is actively burning in timber off Forest Service Road 60 on the Douglas and Klamath county divide, according to officials, in Umpqua National Forest.

It’s in a popular area near Timpanogas Lake.

Nearby, the Tolo Mountain fire in the Deschutes National Forest has burned 41 acres and is now 20% contained. High winds and temperatures caused fire crews to disengage with the fire Saturday evening, but fire lines held through the evening, according to Central Oregon Fire.

A large closure of trails and natural areas is in effect near the fire. A full list of closures can be found here .

Potter Fire grows to 150 acres near Lomolo Lake

A new blaze known as the Potter Fire grew to 150 acres Sunday on Potter Mountain, which is northwest of Lemolo Lake and north of the North Umpqua River, on the border of Willamette and Umpqua national forests.

The fire is located in remote terrain but is growing quickly, the U.S. Forest said.

“The fire was reported and very active although in a relatively remote area,” the agency said in a Facebook post .

McKinney Fire on CA border grows to 50k acres

The McKinney Fire, burning just south of the state border in the Klamath National Forest, increased overnight to more than 50,000 acres and is 0% contained. Firefighters will spend Sunday preparing structures and protecting the nearby communities of Fort Jones and Yreka City, according to Inciweb reports. Multiple evacuations have been ordered, and Highway 96 in the region remains closed.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3d2vSd_0gzfwPJU00

The McKinny Fire brought significant destruction to the small town of Klamath River.

Two bodies were found inside a burned-out car in the path of a huge wildfire raging near California’s border with Oregon, authorities said on Monday, as heavy smoke limited efforts to deploy aircraft to contain the blaze over the weekend.

Since it broke out on Friday, the fast-moving McKinney Fire has forced at least 2,000 residents to evacuate while destroying homes and critical infrastructure, mostly in Siskiyou County, home to Klamath National Forest, according to a release from Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday.

Two other fires in the county have forced at least 200 residents out of their homes, it said. Those fires grew to more than 1,700 acres combined as of Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Already the largest blaze in California this year, the fire had scorched 52,498 acres (21,245 hectares) and was 0% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in a Sunday evening update.

The two bodies were found on Sunday in a car parked in a residential driveway west of the community of Klamath River, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday. It said it would have no additional information about the deaths pending identification and notification of next to kin.

Heavy smoke above the fire region helped limit the growth of the McKinney Fire on Sunday but it also grounded aircraft used to fight the blaze, the U.S. Forest Service said in its statement.

Newsom declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County on Sunday. The declaration will help residents gain access to federal aid and unlock state resources.

One of those forced to evacuate was Harlene Althea Schwander, 81, an artist who moved to the area only a month ago to be near her son and daughter-in-law.

“I’m very sad. My house is gone, all my furniture, all clothes, shoes, coats, boots. Everything is gone,” Schwander told Reuters on Sunday outside an American Red Cross evacuation shelter in the town of Weed, about 40 miles south of the McKinney Fire.

It is the second major wildfire to erupt in California this season. The Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park was 67% contained after charred more than 19,244 acres, Cal Fire said on its website.

Smoke from the fire is likely to persist in southern Oregon across next week, prompting a warning from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

McKinney, Alex and China 2 Fire Perimeter Updates as of 8/1/22 7 AM.

The maps below are from the latest infrared flight conducted very early this morning over the fire. It shows what is the best known location of the fire perimeters for each incident. The different colors also indicate where most intense fire activity is located. The first map is of the China 2 Fire and the second the McKinney and Alex fires. Based on the current data the McKinney Fire is estimated to be 55,493 acres and the China 2 Fire is estimated at 1,989 acres. The Alex Fire which is northwest of the McKinney Fire was last mapped at 80 acres.

For a full link to fire information please see the InciWeb link below: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/8287/70067/For evacuation information click the link below:https://community.zonehaven.com/?latlon=41.82241712634084,-122.95539351264563&z=10.422241185395976&fbclid=IwAR2NcFJOcoJmIzHjkxPtLrrSw7OnxuzmPojFrcLUgelVl85ZxR7haS29xKA

Dozens Rescued From Pacific Crest Trail As Mckinney Fire Threatens Area

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, at least 60 hikers were found on the trail in the Klamath National Forest and escorted to safety. A spokesperson from the sheriff’s office states that although no hikers were in imminent danger, the remote nature of the trail and the quickly changing wildfire conditions made search-and-rescue the best option.

Pacific Crest Trail Closures

A 110-mile long stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, between mile markers 1600 and 1710, between Etna Summit in California to Mt. Ashland Ski Area in Oregon has been closed due to the McKinney Fire.

Another section of the PCT, between mile markers 1848 and 1908, about 60 miles of the trail between Crater Lake National Park and Bend, is closed due to the Tolo Mountain and Windigo Fires.

State to fully close Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program on August 12

 Historic levels of assistance distributed to Oregonians across the state

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to close the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) on Aug. 12, 2022. The portal remains closed to new applicants. Tenants with current incomplete applications or in need of recertification are encouraged to submit their materials right away. No new applications are being accepted but tenants with existing applications in the system who fully submit their completed applications by the August 12 will continue to be processed as funds remain. 

The state was recently notified that it would receive nearly $7 million in additional federal emergency rental assistance funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This funding will support families and individuals who have submitted recertification applications for additional OERAP assistance.

“Throughout the pandemic, OHCS and our partners have worked relentlessly to distribute critical emergency resources to create stability for vulnerable renters and cash-strapped landlords—all in service to supporting an equitable recovery,” said Jill Smith, interim director of the Housing Stabilization Division at OHCS.

OHCS has paid out $390.38 million in emergency rental assistance to 60,829 households. The temporary emergency funding helped an estimated 130,000 Oregonians stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OHCS launched OERAP in May 2021, and after an initial slow start, the agency catapulted to become a state regularly ranked within the top five according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The agency was awarded additional funding from the U.S. Treasury and Oregon Legislature based on the demonstrated need. The agency and its partners have distributed more than half a billion in rental assistance from state and federal funding since January 2021.

Oregon has provided the highest percentage of assistance out of all the states, according to the NLIHC, ranking Oregon first in the nation in the percentage of emergency rental assistance funds paid out and obligated.

“As one of a handful of top-performing states, our program attributes our ability to scale the program quickly to our strong partnerships. Yet the demonstratable need remains,” said Smith. “We always knew that even with record levels of assistance, the need in Oregon continues to far exceed the available funding. I’m grateful to the Oregon Legislature for taking the forward-thinking step of funding additional eviction supports for struggling Oregonians. We know the need continues.”

As OERAP closes, eviction prevention will remain a top priority. OHCS created the Oregon Eviction Diversion and Prevention (ORE-DAP) Program with part of the $100 million in eviction prevention funding the agency received from the Oregon Legislature in December 2021.
 

The new program aims to quickly assist Oregonians facing evictions by delivering rental assistance and other critical eviction and housing-related resources such as case management, mediation, and legal services. This program is being administered statewide by community action agencies in partnership with culturally responsive organizations. To access ORE-DAP resources, tenants may contact their community action agencies or call 2-1-1 to be connected to resources in their area. 

Important OERAP closure information for tenants

Tenants who previously received assistance and still need help must complete the recertification process on or before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2022. Applicants must still be eligible for assistance to qualify for recertification payment.

Applicants may log in to the portal and check the status of their application to ensure it is complete. Tenants with incomplete recertification applications will need to provide missing documents or information. Failure to finalize and submit outstanding recertification applications by the deadline could result in the loss of SB 891 eviction protections.

If tenants are eligible to reapply and need additional assistance, they will receive an email with instructions on how to reapply. Remaining OERAP funding is limited, and even if an applicant is eligible, there is no guarantee their application will be funded.

Rental assistance remains available at the local level. For more information, tenants can call 2-1-1 or visit oregonrentalassistance.org. Individuals who have received an eviction notice should contact Oregon Law Center’s Eviction Defense Project for legal support. Landlords can be reimbursed for eligible non-payment costs such as rent and late fees incurred during the “safe harbor” period by applying to the Landlord Guarantee Program.

High Heat in Pacific Northwest Leads to Several Deaths

More than 13 million people across the Northwest are under heat alerts Sunday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. Major cities impacted include Portland; Seattle; Billings, Montana; and Boise, Idaho.

Here’s a look at forecast high #temperatures for #Sunday and there departure from climatology.
– Dangerous heat and above normal highs persist in the Northwest and begin building in the Upper Midwest.
– Typical summer heat is also expected in the Southern U.S. and Northeast. pic.twitter.com/C6lUFNmxuc— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 30, 2022

In Oregon, officials believe at least six deaths over the past week were heat-related.

The most recent death was reported Saturday in Clackamas County.

“The elderly male who died was in his home that had a non-functioning air conditioner,” the county said in a news release. The medical examiner’s office is investigating the official cause of death.

Five other suspected heat-related deaths happened in Multnomah, Clackamas, Umatilla and Marion counties, Oregon State Police spokesperson Mindy McCartt said Friday.

The official causes of those deaths are also under investigation, McCartt said.

The temperature at Portland International Airport reached or exceeded 95 degrees for “6 straight days, with 3 of those at or just above 100,” the National Weather Service said Saturday.

Portland remains under an excessive heat warning Sunday, the weather service said.

But the heat wave scorching the Northwest will ease up this week.

The most extreme temperatures have shifted away from the coast and into interior portions of the Northwest, Brink said Sunday.

Oregon Mother and Daughter Face Federal Charges for Roles in International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Oregon mother and daughter, both members of a large international drug distribution organization based in India, are facing federal charges for conspiring with each other and others to traffic hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills into the U.S. for distribution in Oregon and elsewhere.

Jennifer McConnon, 48, and Sydney Sleight, 22, residents of Keizer, Oregon, have been charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.

John Doe aka “Bunny Jinn,” the unnamed leader of McConnon and Sleight’s drug distribution organization, has also been indicted for their role in the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Bunny Jinn would, from India, export packages of real and counterfeit pills containing various controlled substances including Tapentadol, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Carisoprodol, Ketamine, and Tramadol into the U.S. McConnon and Sleight, operating in Oregon, received the packages, prepared the drugs for distribution, and distributed them to customers throughout the U.S.

Bunny Jinn, McConnon and Sleight used various encrypted messaging applications and services to communicate with one another and further their conspiracy. McConnon and Sleight, who maintained premises in Keizer to store and distribute the drugs, received more than 275 drug parcels via a post office box, and received payment for their participation in the scheme via several online payment applications.

McConnon made her initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. She was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and released pending a 5-day jury trial scheduled to begin on September 13, 2022. The date of Sleight’s first appearance in federal court is to be determined.

If convicted, McConnon and Sleight face maximum sentences of 20 years in federal prison.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Salem Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin is prosecuting the case.

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Current Oregon mask guidelines –

Masks are not required for most indoor settings, but you still need to wear a mask in health care settings to keep everyone safe. Some businesses and schools may still choose to require masks. People may also choose to continue to wear well-fitting masks to protect themselves and others. Oregon’s full rule on masking, including a list of health care settings where masks are still required, is located here.

Quarantine requirements are lifted for most populations

This means most people do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19. You still must stay away from others if you test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms after exposure.

Salem, OR—The Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Program (LWCF) will accept applications for the 2022 grant cycle Sept. 1 – Nov. 1.

The LWCF is a federally funded reimbursement grant program that provides matching grants to state and local governments for land acquisition, development and rehabilitation for public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Approximately $4 million in reimbursement funds are available for the 2022 cycle. 

Eligible applicants include cities, counties, metropolitan service districts, park and recreation districts, port districts, federally recognized tribal governments, and Oregon state agencies.

An optional webinar is scheduled 9-11 a.m., Aug.  24, to provide information on the program and how to navigate the application process. Register for the live workshop at zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jHCgGiWeTNSoDDasvroo5w. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the Land and Water Conservation Fund web page after Aug. 24.

Access to the LWCF application will be available online at oprdgrants.org when the grant cycle opens. New applicants must first request an account via the website before they are granted application access. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Program is funded through the National Park Service and administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Since 1964, this national grant program has awarded over $80 million in grant funds for Oregon recreational areas and facilities. 

Additional information about the LWCF program, including the grant manual, application instructions and program schedule, is available on the Land and Water Conservation Fund web page.

For information, contact Nohemi Enciso at nohemi.enciso@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-480-9092. 

SALEM – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) announced a sponsorship grant program for organizations that engage in financial empowerment work. The program will award sponsorships to up to five organizations for one-year grants of $25,000 each.

Organizations can attend a free information session via Zoom at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, to learn more about the program. The sessions are not mandatory. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

The goal of the sponsorship program is to support trusted community partners in delivering financial education to consumers in underserved communities. The program will help empower consumers to make decisions about insurance and other financial services that are best for them and to help raise awareness of free services and resources offered by DFR.  

The cost of insurance is often one of the biggest expenses for people, yet national studies show that they do not understand insurance and are not confident to shop around for the best coverage, at the best price. People are more confident and understand insurance more when they can turn to an expert for information.

“We are excited to support the critical work done by organizations across Oregon,” said Division of Financial Regulation Administrator TK Keen. “When someone builds their skills and confidence to manage money and choose insurance and financial products and services that meet their needs, they are well positioned to manage financial challenges and to reach their goals.”

Applicants must be a nonprofit, public school or public-chartered school, or a tribal entity in Oregon. Applications are due Sept. 16.

Organizations will be evaluated on their ability to help underserved communities, including African Americans; Latino, Latina, and Latinx people; Native Americans; Asians and Pacific Islanders; other people of color; women;  LGBTQ+ people; survivors of domestic violence; immigrants and refugees; youth who are underserved; previously incarcerated people; people with disabilities; and seniors.

This grant program is expected to be in place for at least three years. Applicants can apply each year. Future funding will be based on availability of funds and program impact. For more information, go to dfr.oregon.gov and select the Outreach and Education button.

El Programa de Asistencia de Emergencia para el Alquiler de Oregón cerrará completamente el 12 de augusto

 Niveles históricos de asistencia fueron distribuidos en Oregón

SALEM, Ore. — El Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios (OHCS, por sus siglas en inglés) cerrará completamente el Programa de Asistencia de Emergencia para el Alquiler de Oregón (OERAP, por sus siglas en inglés) después de las 11:59 p.m. el 12 de agosto de 2022.

El portal de OERAP permanece cerrado a personas solicitando ayudo por primera vez. Se recomienda a inquilinos con solicitudes incompletas o que necesiten ayuda adicional entregar sus materiales de inmediato. No se están aceptando nuevas solicitudes, pero las solicitudes en ya en el sistema que sean completadas y entregadas para el 12 de agosto se continuarán procesando mientras haya fondos.

Recientemente se notificó al estado que recibiría casi $7 millones en fondos federales adicionales de asistencia de emergencia para el alquiler del Departamento del Tesoro de Estados Unidos. Estos fondos apoyarán a familias e individuos que hayan presentado solicitudes de recertificación para obtener asistencia adicional de OERAP.

“A lo largo de la pandemia, nuestra agencia y nuestros socios comunitarios han trabajado muy duro para distribuir los recursos críticos de emergencia con el objetivo de crear estabilidad para inquilinos vulnerables y arrendadores con dificultades financieras. Todo al servicio de apoyar una recuperación equitativa,” dijo Jill Smith, directora interina de la División de estabilización de Vivienda en OHCS.

OHCS ha pagado $390.38 millones en ayuda de emergencia para el alquiler a 60,829 hogares. Se calcula que la asistencia de emergencia temporal ha ayudado a unos 130,000 residentes de Oregón a conservar sus viviendas durante la pandemia de COVID-19.

OHCS inicio OERAP en mayo de 2021 y después de un comienzo inicial lento, Oregón ha sido nombrado con frecuencia dentro de los cinco mejores estados en distribuir asistencia por la Coalición Nacional de Vivienda para [personas de] Bajos Ingresos. Debido a la gran necesidad, la agencia recibió fondos adicionales del Departamento del Tesoro y la Legislatura de Oregón. La agencia y sus socios comunitarios han distribuido más de 500 mil millones de dólares en asistencia para el alquiler de fondos estatales y federales desde enero de 2021. 

De acuerdo a la Coalición Nacional de Vivienda para [personas de] Bajos Ingresos, Oregón está en el primer lugar en el país en el porcentaje de fondos de asistencia para el alquiler pagados y comprometidos.

“Oregón es uno de los pocos estados con mejor desempeño, esto se debe a nuestra capacidad para escalar el programa rápidamente gracias a los fuertes vínculos con nuestros socios comunitarios”, dijo Smith. “Siempre supimos que incluso con niveles históricos de asistencia, la necesidad en Oregón continúa superando los fondos disponibles. Estoy agradecida con la Legislatura de Oregón por su gesto visionario al otorgar fondos adicionales para la prevención de desalojos y así apoyar a individuos y familias de Oregón que luchan por salir adelante. Sabemos que la necesidad continúa”.

Tras cerrar OERAP, el trabajo para prevenir desalojos permanecerá una prioridad principal. OHCS creo el Programa de Prevención y Desvió de Desalojos (ORE-DAP) con parte de los $100 millones en fondos para prevenir desalojos que recibió en diciembre 2021 de la Legislatura de Oregón. 

El objetivó del programa es dar ayuda rápida a individuos en riesgo de perder sus hogares al otorgarles asistencia para el alquiler y otros recursos críticos relacionado con la vivienda como asistencia con sus casos, mediación y servicios legales. ORE-DAP está siendo administrado a nivel estatal por Agencias de Acción Comunitaria en conjunto con organizaciones que otorgan servicios culturalmente específicos. Para información sobre los recursos de ORE-DAP, inquilinos deben contactar a su Agencias de Acción Comunitaria o llamar al 2-1-1 para ser conectados con recursos locales. 

Información importante del cierre de OERAP para inquilinos

Inquilinos que recibieron asistencia anteriormente y aún necesitan ayuda, deben completar el proceso de recertificación antes de las 11:50 p.m. del 12 de agosto de 2022. Los solicitantes aún deben ser elegibles para recibir asistencia para calificar para el pago de la recertificación.

Los solicitantes pueden utilizar el portal y verificar el estado de su solicitud para asegurarse de que esté completa. Los inquilinos con solicitudes de recertificación incompletas deberán proporcionar los documentos o la información que falta. Si no finaliza ni presenta las solicitudes de recertificación pendientes antes de la fecha límite, podría perder las protecciones de desalojo SB 891. 

Si los inquilinos son elegibles para volver a presentar una solicitud y necesitan asistencia adicional, recibirán un correo electrónico con instrucciones sobre cómo volver a presentar la solicitud. Los fondos restantes de OERAP son limitados e incluso si un solicitante es elegible, no hay garantía de que su solicitud sea pagada.

Para más información sobre recursos de ORE-DAP en su área, puede contactar a su Agencia de Acción Comunitaria local o llamar al 2-1-1 para ser conectado con recursos. Inquilinos que les preocupa un desalojo, deben llamar al Proyecto de Defensa contra Desalojos de los Servicios Legales de Oregón al 888-585-9638 o visitar su sitio de internet

Arrendadores pueden ser reembolsados por costos relacionados al no recibir pago del alquiler y cargos por pagos atrasados durante el periodo de protección de desalojos. Pueden solicitar ayuda al Programa de Garantía para el Arrendador conocido como Landlord Guarantee Program.

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