PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One day after Gov. Kate Brown warned Oregonians of worsening fire conditions, she requested a federal emergency declaration for wildfires raging across the state.
On Wednesday, Brown announced she sent President Joe Biden the request on Friday, which if approved, would mean Oregon would be the first state to receive direct assistance for wildfires under a presidential emergency declaration.
“The request I made for a federal disaster declaration is critical to helping bolster our state’s response, and it presents an opportunity for Oregon to partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bridge the gaps we know exist as we work hard to protect our communities,” Brown said in a release Wednesday. “We still have several weeks of peak fire season ahead of us, five large active fires, and 274,000 acres burning statewide. If granted, Oregon would be the first state ever to receive such a declaration for wildfire response — but unfortunately, certainly not the last to need this important assistance.”
Brown shared concerns about the dangers and impacts presented when drought-like conditions and high winds are paired. She noted that the increased risk of wildfires threatens the lives, health and safety of Oregonians, in addition to the potential destruction of property and infrastructure.
Over the course of two weeks, Brown declared three fire conflagrations in addition to a statewide fire emergency as fires ravaged on.
Brown said the “severity and magnitude” of the wildfires require federal assistance to help lessen the chance of disaster.
At the time of her request, there were well over two dozen wildfires actively burning and several red flag warnings issued across Oregon. As of Wednesday, however, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reports there are 14 wildfires in the northwest.