An estimated half a million Oregonians—more than 10 percent of the state’s entire population—have reportedly fled their homes as an unprecedented number of wildfires burn out of control. The staggering number came from Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management late Thursday and was reported by the Associated Press. State officials have been shocked by the sheer number of major fires which, as of Thursday, stood at 37. Gov. Kate Brown said more than 900,000 acres of her state have burned over the past three days, explaining: “We have never seen this amount of uncontained fire across the state.” She said at a Thursday press conference: “We are feeling the acute impacts of climate change. We are seeing its acute impacts in Oregon, on the West Coast and frankly in the entire world.” Worryingly, officials now expect two of the state’s largest wildfires to combine due to strong winds pushing them closer and closer together.
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