Portland Under State of Emergency as Wildfires Near
The uncontained wildfires in Oregon burned closer to Portland Friday, the first major city in the state directly endangered by the blazes. Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency Thursday night. Residents of Estacada, a wooded suburb southeast of the city, warned residents to leave immediately or risk death, “If you have not evacuated, you must do so now. At this point there will be no firefighters protecting the city.” More than 100,000 people are under evacuation orders across the state. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown told residents Wednesday to prepare for catastrophic losses in what may become “the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history.”
Multiple people have already died in the conflagration, which has consumed more than a million acres. Oregon, Washington, and California are all battling gargantuan fires fueled by high heat and fast, dry winds. Smoke has enshrouded much of the West Coast and made breathing conditions hazardous for millions.