Wildfires Consuming Oregon Lands; Brown Declares Emergency

Every Summer, Oregon faces the annual threat of Wildfire Damage, and this year is turning out to be no different, as Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Wednesday for imminent threat of wildfires.  

Oregon is currently at high risk due to warm temperatures, dry winds, and thunderstorms. The declaration allows agencies around the state to work together and share valuable resources in order to better fight and prevent the spread of wildfires. Agencies include the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Oregon Department of Forestry, as well as the Oregon National Guard if necessary.  

In a statement on Aug. 19Brown said, “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. Given drought conditions and hotter than usual temperatures, Oregonians should be prepared for an intense wildfire season this summer.”  

In an article published by the Statesman Journal on Thursday, the most worrisome fire remains the Green Ridge Fire. Currently consuming over 1,900 acres near the Santiam Pass, the fire created level 1 and 2 evacuation warnings to the Camp Sherman area. 

Also incredibly concerning are The Lily Fire, the Frog Fire, and the Seven Mile Fire. The Lily Fire is currently burning northeast of Waldo Lake, and while small – currently only 37 acres – it has caused the closure of four miles of the extremely popular Pacific Crest Trail. The Seven Mile Fire, new on the scene in the Columbia River Gorge, has prompted evacuations for residents west of The Dalles, while the Frog Fire is one of the most rapidly growing fires, currently burning around 3,700 acres of the Ochoco National Forest near Prineville.  

Brown also urged people in her statement to be vigilant about heeding fire warnings and evacuation requirements. One thing is for sure, our beautiful green state is in for one hot end to summer. 

 By Kyra Blank