Wheeler issues Portland fire emergency order, closes parks


Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler during a press conference, September 8, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has issued a Portland fire emergency order, which, among other things, closes the city’s outdoor parks and other natural areas as firefighters across the state battle numerous wildfires this week.

“All outdoor parks and natural areas owned by the City of Portland, including all forested parks, and other locations as designated by the Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, are hereby closed to the general public except as may be necessary for the City to respond to the impacts of fire danger under this Emergency Declaration, or to respond to any other threats to the public, health, safety or welfare under any and all other Emergency Declarations in effect in the City,” the order, which was issued late Thursday afternoon, read.

The order, which is in effect until Sept. 24, also aims to protect the city’s houseless population, activates temporary shelters for survivors and identifies financial resources that can be used in the ongoing fight.

Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians across the state have fled their homes wildland infernos destroy communities. More than 900,000 acres have burned since Monday, and only a few wildfires have seen any containment. The largest fires — Riverside, Beachie Creek and Lionshead — are feared to merge.

No evacuation orders have been issued for the city of Portland; however, in neighboring Clackamas County, the cities of Estacada and Molalla are under Level 3 “Go Now” evacuation orders, while Oregon City and Canby are under Level 2 “Get Set” orders.

The Oregon Convention Center in Portland is being opened as an evacuee shelter for those displaced by the fires, according to Metro officials.

Also, the City of Portland and the Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services opened additional shelter capacity for those experiencing homelessness. This additional shelter capacity will be available throughout the duration of this air event, and it will be open 24 hours, instead of overnight only. For details call 211.

Multnomah County emergency shelter information

Read the full fire emergency order below:

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