September 7, 2017 2:15 PM, EDT

Pacific Northwest Wildfires Prompt Federal Emergency HOS Response

Oregon and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have extended an emergency declaration and associated regulatory relief through Oct. 31, allowing truckers to address the fire danger and widespread emergency conditions that create a need for transportation of supplies, equipment and people into and out of the state.


In a related development, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also declared a state of emergency, triggering the suspension of certain hours-of-service regulations for truckers providing emergency relief or essential supplies to that state.

Inslee said that since June 2017, Washington state has experienced drier-than-normal weather conditions with periods of above-average temperatures throughout the state which, when combined with projected weather for early September, present a high risk of severe wildfires throughout the state.

“Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort,” FMCSA said.

In addition, the emergency declaration does not exempt the use of controlled substances and alcohol and testing requirements, commercial driver license and insurance requirements, hazardous material regulations, applicable size and weight requirements or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized, FMCSA said.