Discussing the event of a devastating wildfire

By on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

La Grande – La Grande City Council met in a work session last night (Monday, March 29, 2021) discussing public awareness of what to do in the event of a Wildland Urban Emergency.  JB Brock, Union County Emergency Manager spoke about the importance of educating the public in such an emergency.  Brock shared with the Council that the County’s website www.union-county.org/emergency-services/ includes great information about what to do in an emergency, including wildfires. 

Emmitt Cornford, La Grande Fire Chief, and Gary Bell, La Grande Police Chief shared their views on what actions should the City is taking to help prepare in the event of a wildfire such as the ones that devastated communities last year on the west side of the state.  Chief Cornford shared that the City is planning to send out a flyer outlining what citizens can do to help prevent or mitigate dangers in the City’s water bills. 

Chief Bell commented that, unlike coastal communities that post signage directing people to emergency evacuation locations for tsunamis or hurricanes, such signage in La Grande would not be a good idea because there are a number of potential dangers which could require evacuations other than fires.  He worried about inadvertently directing people into a hazardous area by mistake if the signage were intended to be for wildfire evacuations.  The consensus of the City Council was to continue with educational efforts and emergency planning efforts as discussed. 

The City Council cannot make decisions during work sessions.  Work sessions are only for informational and discussions only.