FMCSA issues emergency declaration for California, Oregon and Washington

August 2, 2018

Tyson Fisher


Wildfires continue to ravage the West Coast, causing evacuations and road closures. As of Wednesday, Aug. 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Western Service Center has issued a regional emergency declaration in California, Oregon and Washington, exempting certain drivers from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance to emergency relief efforts by transporting supplies, equipment, fuel and people in and out of affected areas qualify for the exemptions. Exempt regulations include hours of service. Drivers must still adhere to requirements for drug/alcohol use and testing, CDLs, insurance, hazardous material, and size and weight.

Once a driver has completed relief effort duties and returned to commerce, exemptions will be lifted and all regulations will apply. Exemptions will remain for the driver to return empty to a terminal or normal reporting location. Drivers must be relieved of all duty after returning and must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty.

Motor carriers and individual drivers currently out-of-service are not eligible for relief effort exemptions until the OOS order has been lifted.

The regional exemption will last until Aug. 31 unless extended.

Carr Fire update

The Carr Fire near Redding, Calif., continues to threaten lives, home, businesses and infrastructure. This is the sixth most destructive wildfire in state history, according to Cal Fire.

As of Thursday morning, Aug. 2, the wildfire has grown to more than 125,000 acres and at only 35 percent containment. According to Cal Fire, more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed with nearly 500 other structures also succumbing to the fire. At least six people have been killed as a result of the fire, including two firefighters.

Dozens of evacuations and road closures are being reported, including several sections of State Route 299. To view the latest traffic conditions in California, click here.

Year to date, there have been 3,770 fires in California that have burned more than 292,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. At this time last year, there were 3,440 fires that burned more than 219,000 acres. When combined with U.S. Forest Service data, the number jumps to 4,457 fires with more than 378,000 acres burned.

The most destructive fire in California history was the Tubbs Fire last October near Santa Rosa. Although the fire burned only 36,807 acres, 22 people lost their lives and nearly 6,000 structures were destroyed.


Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.