Thousands of Oregon residents were evacuated from their homes Tuesday as wildfires raged across the state.
Gov. Kate Brown declared a statewide emergency Tuesday after strong winds caused fires to expand and new ones to ignite, according to OBP. There are reportedly wildfires blazing in Marion, Lane, Jackson, Coos, Lincoln, Washington and Clackama counties, the outlet reported.
Sobering map of wildfires in the Western states. In Oregon, there are 35 active fires, which have burned more than 360,000 acres. Sections of I-5 are closed. The entire city of Medford is being evacuated. Stay safe, everyone. pic.twitter.com/rLyJMKbC23
— Thomas Lin (@7homaslin) September 9, 2020
“Our number one priority is evacuation and basic life safety,” Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple told the outlet. “This wind event does not give us the opportunity to really get in there and fight fire how we might fight fire in previous events.” (RELATED: San Francisco Sky Bright Orange From ‘Snowing’ Ash, Wildfire Smoke)
The wind isn’t the only environmental factor contributing to the wildfires. Chief of Fire Protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry told reporters that Oregon is experiencing extremely dry conditions and a cold front moved in, according to OBP.
Insane skies right now in Stayton, Oregon. ???? Crazy these images aren’t from the early morning or late at night… this is the view at 11 am. #Oregon #Stayton #Wildfire #OrWx #Pnw #Fire #haze #news @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/kL7GePmjTX
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) September 8, 2020
“You combine that series of conditions and you have a supreme alignment for destructive fires. That’s exactly what we’ve seen,” Grafe said. “Seeing them run down the canyons the way they have carrying tens of miles in one afternoon and not slowing down through the evening. [There’s] absolutely no context for this environment.”
SATELLITE SPOTLIGHT: It’s not just California that is battling #wildfires, Oregon is ablaze too—seen here yesterday evening from @NOAA‘s #GOES17????️. According to @OregonOEM, there are at least 35 active fires, including the #BeachieCreekFire, #LionsheadFire, & #AlamedaFire. #ORwx pic.twitter.com/1VIMKlFP5P
— NOAA Satellites – Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) September 9, 2020