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FMCSA extends emergency declarations for drivers providing relief to California, Oregon, Washington State due to wildfires

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FMCSA extends emergency declarations for drivers providing relief to California, Oregon, Washington State due to wildfires
Under a smoke-filled sky in Salem, Oregon, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, volunteer Shawn Daley directs traffic into the parking lot an evacuation center at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, which was crowded with hundreds of cars, pickup trucks, and campers of evacuees. Red Cross spokesman Chad Carter said 600 evacuees had checked in by early Tuesday afternoon to the site, one of at least 10 fire evacuation centers in Oregon set up by the Red Cross. High winds kicked up wildfires across the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday, burning hundreds of thousands of acres, mostly destroying the small town of Malden in eastern Washington state, and forcing evacuations and highway closures in Oregon. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) West Service Center on Sept. 10 extended State of Emergency Declarations for California, Oregon and Washington State as wildfires continue to threaten lives and property. The extension is effective immediately and will continue until for the duration of the state of emergency or until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 19, 2020, whichever comes first.

In mid-August, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued state declarations of emergency because of “widespread wildfires and critical fire danger due to hot, dry, windy conditions and dry thunderstorms,” the FMCSA declaration notes, adding that the emergency conditions “have not abated,” indicating a need for an extension of emergency relief exemptions for motor carriers and drivers.

Under the extension, motor carriers and drivers who are providing direct assistance to the wildfire emergency in California, Oregon or Washington are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, except as restricted in the declaration. Click here to read the declaration and review the restrictions.

“Direct assistance” includes transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into the three affected states; transporting people into and from the affected states; or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services related to the wildfires. Direct assistance ends when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce or to provide services not related to emergency relief efforts.

“Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399. When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operations, equals 14 hours,” the declaration reads.

The Trucker News Staff

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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