Wildfires Bring States of Emergency in the West
A member of the Oregon National Guard firefighting team assigned to the Horse Prairie Fire, near Camas Valley, Ore. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Van Mourik / 173rd Fighter Wing/ Public Affairs
Certain federal motor carrier regulations have been suspended in some Western states due to large wildfires, as governors have declared officials states of emergency in Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, and the Dakotas.
Unusually hot and dry conditions in the Northwest have caused major fires in Oregon, where a state of emergency was declared in the state. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has temporarily suspended certain trucking regulations in the state to speed up transportation of supplies equipment and people into and from the state and provide necessary relief.
The suspended regulations include those concerned with hours of service, inspection, repair, and maintenance, hazardous materials transportation, driving, parking, and other health and safety standards.
Similar declarations have been made in states in the Gulf region and Eastern U.S. as a result of the devastation and potential devastation from Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
In Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, an emergency suspension of certain transportation rules was made due to massive wildfires and severe drought conditions affecting livestock, property, and people. More details are available here.
The states of Washington and California have also declared emergency situations as a result of large wildfires, however there has been no suspension of rules or regulations affecting transportation companies in the area, as of yet.
With both the fire and hurricane season peaking this month, it is a good idea for trucking companies to stay up to date the latest emergency declarations which could be affecting their fleets. The FMCSA publishes all emergency declarations by state, with effective dates online here.