More than 10 percent of Oregon’s population forced to flee wildfires

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More than 500,000 people in Oregon have been forced to flee raging wildfires on the West Coast — over 10 percent of the state’s population.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said more than 1,400 square miles of the Beaver State have gone up in flames just this week, with hot and windy conditions making the situation worse.

“We’re in an unprecedented fire event,” Gov. Kate Brown said on Twitter earlier in the week. “Several significant, growing fires across the state continue to spread due to hot, dry weather & high winds. Oregonians’ lives are at risk. Follow evacuation orders, try to reduce your smoke exposure — and take care of each other.”

At least three people in the state have been confirmed to have died from the fires, but Brown said at a press conference Thursday that the exact total of fatalities is not yet known.

Also Thursday, state corrections officials said more than 1,300 inmates were being evacuated from the Coffee Creek Correction Facility in Wilsonville, about 16 miles south of Portland.

The wildfires have spread throughout massive portions of California, Oregon, and Washington state in recent weeks, with 56 blazes ravaging the three states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

In Oregon alone, some 3,000 firefighters were working to fight back the flames from more than two dozen wildfires.

With Post wires



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