PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 2020 wildfires burned roughly 1.2 million acres in Oregon, according to the state’s office of emergency management. They left people homeless, destroyed timberland, and polluted the air for weeks.
As the year comes to an end, many victims are still living in hotels and communities are wondering how they’ll rebuild after such widespread destruction.
The wildfires in Western Oregon were fueled by a wind storm on Labor Day. At one point, an estimated 500,000 — more than 10 percent of the state’s 4.2 million people, were in an evacuation zone. For the first time ever, five megafires – fires that cover at least 100,000 acres – were burning at the same time in Oregon.
Entire neighborhoods were destroyed in the cities of Phoenix and Talent, south of Medford. As of Dec. 14, 2020, the Oregon Department of Emergency Management said 4,026 homes were destroyed in the wildfires.
These photos show the moments flames were burning and smoke was filling the air, and the destruction left in the fire’s path.