Message to Portlanders during 2020 wildfires
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:
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.