Oregon Wildfires Force Tens of Thousands of People to Flee Homes, Businesses

PHOENIX, OR - SEPTEMBER 10: Damaged homes and cars are seen in a mobile home park destroyed by fire on September 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Oregon. Hundreds of homes in the town have been lost due to wildfire. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
David Ryder/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of acres of wildfires are burning across the state of Oregon. Now some 500,000 people are in possible evacuation zones, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

ABC reported on the multiple fires scorching forests in the Beaver State:

As of Friday morning, there are 38 active fires burning more than 805,000 acres. The largest is the Beachie Creek Fire, which is more than 185,000 acres and is 0 percent contained. This deadly blaze has resulted in at least two deaths.

The Holiday Farm Fire has burned more than 144,000 acres and is also 0% contained. The Lionshead Fire, which is more than 125,000 acres and has resulted in at least four injuries, is 5 percent contained. The Riverside Fire is 120,000 acres and is 0% contained, while the Archie Creek Fires is burning more than 107,000 acres and is 1% contained, according to OEM.

While state and local emergency responders continue their heroic work to battle the wildfires, they will now be getting some additional federal help. A day after a delegation of Oregon lawmakers sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for disaster assistance, the president approved Oregon’s Emergency Declaration.

A White House statement said:

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures … to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.

“Thousands of evacuated Oregonians are sleeping in motels, on cots in shelters, or with friends/family,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown tweeted. “Please know that we are doing everything in our power to fight these fires.”

“The death toll from the West Coast wildfires has climbed to at least 17, but that number is expected to rise as many people remain unaccounted for, according to local officials,” ABC reported.

Meanwhile, wildfires continue to burn in California, with Cal Fire reporting late Thursday that 2.6 million acres have burned across the state. Six of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred this year.

This article has been updated to accurately reflect the number of people facing evacuation. 

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