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Oregon officials said they are preparing for a ‘mass fatality incident’ as 500,000 people stand in evacuation zones from the wildfires ravaging the West Coast

Oregon preparing for ‘mass fatality incident’ in West Coast wildfires – Business Insider

Carlos Barria/REUTERS

  • Oregon officials say they’re preparing for a “mass fatality incident” as wildfires continue to spread throughout the state.
  • There are currently six reported deaths in Oregon due to the fires that have devastated millions of acres, and 40,000 residents have been evacuated, with 500,000 more in evacuation zones.
  • Oregon is joined by other states including California, Colorado, and Utah in combatting wildfires that have destroyed the homes of hundreds of people throughout the region.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Wildfires continue to ravage the West Coast, including Oregon, where officials have evacuated 40,000 people from the blazes that have devastated millions of acres and destroyed thousands of buildings.

On Friday, Director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Andrew Phelps said Oregon is gearing up for a “mass fatality incident” as large fires continue to spread throughout the state, according to CBS Portland.

“This is going to be a long term recovery operation,” he said according to the outlet. “The long term recovery is going to last years.”

Oregon has been among the states hit hard by dozens of wildfires that have sparked throughout the region. There are six reported deaths in the state, including that of a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother. Officials have evacuated 40,000 Oregon residents, and 500,000 more are currently in evacuation zones, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday according to CBS Portland.

Evacuation orders are also in place in other states throughout the region that have been slammed by the wildfires, including Colorado, California, and Utah, the National Interagency Fire Center said Saturday according to a USA Today report. California has reported 19 deaths in the state due to the wildfires. Daniel Berlant, Cal Fire’s assistant deputy director, said Friday that five of the state’s 10 largest wildfires in its history have broken out this fire season.

On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the wildfires, which broke out weeks ago, and thanked the thousands of first responders and firefighters that are on the frontlines battling the flames. The president has authorized FEMA to offer disaster relief aid. White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said the president will travel to Sacramento, California, on Monday to discuss the wildfires.

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