Oregon declares state of emergency over wildfire risk

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the current threat of wildfires across the state.

Brown’s office said Wednesday that much of Oregon is at extreme risk of fires and red flag warnings have been issued in places due to hot, dry, windy conditions and dry thunderstorms.

A state of emergency gives the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal access to extra personnel, equipment and resources from other state agencies.

Already this summer, wildfires have forced evacuations and destroyed structures across the state. Officials also cited the COVID-19 pandemic as presenting ongoing challenges that further complicate their response to wildfires.

“The wildfire season has escalated in Oregon this summer, and fire crews are working in extreme temperatures to keep homes and resources safe during this pandemic,” Brown said. “Given drought conditions and hotter than usual temperatures, Oregonians should be prepared for an intense wildfire season this summer. I’m committed to making state resources available to ensure crews have the resources they need on the ground and across the state. I urge the public to use extreme caution and be mindful of fire restrictions to protect the beauty and bounty of our state.”

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