The fires burning across the state right now are unprecedented and devastating. Reports show that we have already lost lives and homes as the fires grow, and our thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones, their homes, and Oregonians who have had to evacuate. Some City of Portland employees have been forced to evacuate due to fires in the surrounding counties.
With 35 fires and over 900,000 acres burning, the loss is incalculable and the concern you may feel as the situation unfolds is understandable. Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Hardesty’s offices are working together with Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, and Portland Parks and Recreation to support Portlanders and make sure they get the updates they need to feel informed and prepared.
At this time, there are no evacuations or closures in Portland. We are closely watching the situation and are ready to provide aid to help our neighbors in the region and around the state. As of today, Portland Fire & Rescue has already sent 34 firefighters, five fire engines, one water tender and one brush truck to help in neighboring counties – the water tender and brush truck are critical wildfire tools. We are prepared to provide additional support if needed.
There are several ways for Portland to stay informed:
- Visit the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality page for the current air quality conditions. When air quality worsens, limit time outside as much as possible.
- Visit www.publicalerts.org to sign up to receive emergency alerts from Portland or your respective county if you live outside the city limits. The emergency alerts will come to you in whatever form you find most useful – text message, phone call, or email.
- Visit the Multnomah County page to get the latest wildfire information from the County, including news about evacuations and closures.
- Visit the State of Oregon Fires and Hotspots Dashboard for up-to-date information on wildfires throughout the state.
- Visit the Oregon Health Authority page for answers to basic questions related to public health impacts of wildfire smoke
- Visit Governor Kate Brown’s Oregon Wildfires Resources page
- Follow Portland Fire & Rescue for regular updates on the fires and how they are affecting the city.
During this time we are asking for Portlanders to go above and beyond the county burn ban to make sure we don’t have more fires for our already busy fire crews. Some fire prevention tips from Portland Fire & Rescue include:
- Do not BBQ or create outdoor fires during this dangerous period.
- Ensure that cigarette butts are extinguished fully in a non-combustible ashtray.
- Avoid using any machinery that creates sparks outside.
- If you live next to a natural area, you should provide firefighters with the defensible space they need to protect your home. Create a buffer zone by removing weeds, brush and other vegetation. This helps keep the fire away from your home and reduces the risk from flying embers.
- If you see a fire, no matter how small, call 9-1-1. Do not call 9-1-1 to report wildfire smoke or poor air quality.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to our emergency responders for their dedication and service during this challenging time.
We are experiencing crisis upon crisis, and they may be heavy but not insurmountable. Together we will get through this. Stay safe, stay healthy, take care of yourself and each other.