Oregon Governor Issues Emergency Declaration Over Fires

September 9, 2020 Updated: September 9, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an emergency declaration over rapidly spreading wildfires throughout the state.

Brown, a Democrat, invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act. There are at least 35 active fires burning more than 360,000 acres as of Sept. 9, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, ABC News reported.

“Wind continues to fuel the wildfires, with devastating consequences across Oregon,” Brown said on Twitter on Sept. 8. “People’s homes, lives & land are at risk. If you are in an evacuation area, please pay close attention & listen to local calls to evacuate—this can save your life & the lives of our firefighters.”

She noted that emergency declarations were issued for the Beachie Creek, Lionshead, Holiday Farm, and Alameda fires in various parts of the state.

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate.

The Beachie Creek Fire has burned 132,000 acres and is currently zero percent contained, while the Lionshead Fire is 5 percent contained and has burned 91,000 acres.

California currently still has a number of wildfires raging across the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, declared an emergency over the weekend for the fires.

The Creek Fire has destroyed more than 350 structures, forcing the evacuation of about 30,000 people in Madera and Fresno counties, officials told USA Today.

Officials said that poor weather conditions will persist until Sept. 10.

“We understand what you’re going through,” Incident Commander Marty Adell said. “A lot of us come from fire-prone areas. We’ve been in this business for a long time. … We are going to try everything in our power to get you back into the areas you call home.”

Meanwhile, a number of fires are currently raging across Washington state, located mainly in the eastern and southern portions.

“It’s an unprecedented and heartbreaking event,” Gov. Jay Inslee said of the fires, saying that heat, high winds, and low humidity are reasons for the fires. “The list of fires is long.”