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Oregon prepares for “mass extinction” as wildfires rage in western states



At least 19 people died this week in Oregon, Washington, and California Forest fires continue to rage in western states. Dozens are still missing in Oregon as officials prepare for a “mass casualty”.

“We know we are dealing with fire-related deaths and are preparing for a mass casualty based on what we know and the number of structures lost,” said Andrew Phelps, director of the state’s Office of Emergency Management. “The long-term recovery will take years.”

More than half a million people ̵

1; 12% of the state’s population – have fled their homes In Oregon, mass evacuations are taking place across the region. Oregon Governor Kate Brown said the fires set more than 1 million acres on fire.

“I know it’s been a tough few days, many Oregonians are suffering right now, whether they’ve evicted themselves or are worried about their families and communities while watching our beautiful state burn,” Brown said in a briefing Friday. “We are doing everything we can to fight these fires.”

The monstrous fires move so fast that they overwhelm the firefighters. The fires create too suffocating smoke from Los Angeles to Seattle. Portland and San Francisco now have the worst air quality in the world and officials are urging people to stay indoors.

Today in Berry Creek, California, there is a lakeside community full of houses burned. At least 10 people were killed in a fire, including 16-year-old Josiah Williams, who was found near his home last night. The death toll in California was originally 12 but has since been lowered to 11.

Ashland Oregon Fire
This aerial photo shows search and rescue teams in Ashland, Oregon on September 11, 2020.

David Ryder / Getty


In Washington, Jamie and Jake Hyland lost their 1-year-old son Uriel and their unborn child while trying to escape the flames. The couple also suffered severe burns.

“In my worst dreams, I couldn’t imagine what my sister and brother-in-law would go through and do anything to fight for their lives and protect their child,” Jamie Hyland’s sister Dawnmarie Baxter told CBS News. “And to lose him and her baby, there are no words and nothing will ever make it right.”

There is some hopeful news: calm winds are forecast for this weekend, and the Pacific Northwest could see much-needed rain next week.



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