Over a half a million citizens were told to evacuate their homes due to the Oregon wildfires. Ten percent of the state’s residents have now evacuated.
All About the Oregon Wildfires
On Friday (September 11), citizens were told to evacuate. The fires were creeping into several neighborhoods. The Pacific Northwest has seen countless fires the past month. Phoenix, Talent, and Medford have seen the most devastation in Oregon.
“This is unprecedented for us — the scope and scale of the size of these wildfires and the impact they are having on people around the state,” American Red Cross Cascades Region Head Dale Kunce, told The Washington Post. He said that the tragic events are in a part of the country that typically doesn’t need this amount of aid from the organization.
In total, these wildfires have scorched land the size of New Jersey, according to Reuters. This week alone, five deaths have been reported and numerous people are missing. Additionally, they have had the strongest winds in over thirty years.
“The weather is going to be favorable for us,” Doug Grafe, fire protection chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry told the outlet. He added that the break in the forecast will continue through next week.
What Is Happening?
So far, fires are spreading across northern California, Oregon and Washington. The fires began due to record-breaking heat mixed with extremely high winds. Scientists blame global warming for some of the damage. In turn, the fires have caused some of the worst air quality.
“We’re seeing fires in places that we don’t normally see fires,” University of California Professor of Science Crystal A. Kolden told The New York Times.
Furthermore, California has seen 3,800 structures incinerated. “This is a climate damn emergency,” California Governor Gavin Newsom told media outlets. He wants people to know that this situation is real and it’s happening. Overall it’s the perfect storm. This is the largest fire in the state’s history that has encompassed 740,000 acres in the Mendocino National Forest and caused 68,000 evacuations.