Saturday, September 12, 2020

Oregon fires burn as officials fear 'mass fatality incident'

Burned automobiles and a fire hose sit in a mobile home park in Ashland, Oregon. Hundreds of homes in Ashland and nearby towns have been lost because of the wildfires. Photograph: David Ryder/Getty Images

Lighter winds and rising humidity overnight helped efforts to tackle massive wildfires in Oregon that have taken lives, destroyed property and burned a million acres.

But state emergency management director Andrew Phelps said officials were “preparing for a mass fatality incident based on what we know and the numbers of structures that have been lost”.

Governor Kate Brown said dozens were still missing and tens of thousands had been forced to flee their homes.

State officials did not release an exact death count but at least eight had been reported. Marion county sheriff Joe Kast said on Friday evening that searchers found two victims of the Beachie Creek fire near Salem. A one-year-old boy was killed in wildfires in Washington state as the toll for the whole west coast rose past 20.  Read more >>