The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an extended state emergency declaration for California, Oregon and Washington in direct response to the widespread wildfires and dangerous conditions in the region. There are concerns that those fires could worsen or that others will start due to the hot, dry, windy conditions, and dry thunderstorms across the West Coast.
FMCSA’s extension covers commercial vehicles that are “providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts [by] transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel, and transporting persons into and from the affected states, or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the emergency in the affected states from the wildfires.”
Some 14,000 firefighters are battling about 30 major wildfires across California and neighboring states this week as wind conditions continue to spread the flames, which have now burned more than 2.5 million acres.
Along with California, the fires have spread into Oregon, Nevada and Washington, affecting travel along major freight corridors including I-5, I-10, I-80 and other main roads in the West. On Thursday morning, Sept. 10, the National Weather Service had issued dense smoke advisories for several Eastern California counties and Western Nevada counties. The advisories noted that the smoke is leading to unhealthy air quality and reduced visibility.
There were reports in Oregon of drivers abandoning tractor-trailers on I-5 as conditions worsened along the California border. The Oregon Department of Transportation was asking truck drivers to return to their vehicles and move them before the state towed the trucks.
The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings across most of California and into parts of Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.Map: Cal Fire/Google
“Yesterday, and overnight, wind conditions allowed many fires to grow significantly with extreme fire behavior,” Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said in a Sept. 9 statewide update. “While containment