An Oregon state trooper was left shocked when a large tree crashed down onto his vehicle recently, and the wild footage was all captured by the police car’s dashcam.
The officer was responding to an emergency call in an area that should have been evacuated due to raging wildfires in Oregon. The blurry video shows the trooper driving with their emergency lights on and flashing. The footage is not fully clear because of nearby smoke, and the dark orange sky from the massive wildfires.
As the trooper’s car continues down the heavily wooded road, an enormous tree to the left abruptly starts to fall. The huge tree leans toward the road, and then comes crashing down directly on top of the car’s hood.
“Our Trooper was lucky and wasn’t injured, but it could have been so much worse,” the Oregon State Police said Tuesday. In addition, the state police shared photos of the squad car’s busted windshield and hood.
The department said the tree fell on the trooper’s car while they answered a call in a level 3 area. A level 3 area is where residents are ordered to leave where they are immediately. Officials warn that if people don’t evacuate promptly, they may not receive emergency help if needed.
The police said the footage was released to highlight that evacuation areas are closed since they are unsafe to occupy.
Half a Million People Evacuate Oregon Due to Wildfires
On Friday, citizens of Oregon were told to evacuate their areas because of large, quickly-spreading wildfires in the state. Upwards of 500,000 people left their homes for safety, which is around ten percent of the state’s population.
“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,” said American Red Cross Cascades Region Head Dale Kunce.
All the wildfires combined have burned an area of land comparable to the size of New Jersey. Since the evacuations began, five deaths have been reported and multiple people have gone missing. In addition, Oregon has had the strongest winds on record in over thirty years, which has fueled the spreading wildfires.
“The weather is going to be favorable for us,” said fire protection chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry Doug Grafe. He said the break in the forecast should continue through next week, and will hopefully allow Oregon to get the wildfires under control.
[H/T New York Post]