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Thousands forced to evacuate as fires tear through Oregon

3 years 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, September 09 2020 Sep 9, 2020 September 09, 2020 6:03 AM September 09, 2020 in News
Source: ABC Affiliate, KATU 2
A decades-old railroad bridge that crossed the Yakima River in Oregon's Benton County was badly damaged in one of several massive fires that were raging across the state on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Photo: Brian Stott/KATU 2

SALEM, Oregon- Mandatory evacuations were issued for multiple towns in Oregon Tuesday as a series of quickly spreading wildfires ravaged the state.

Governor Kate Brown urged locals to follow evacuation orders and approved an emergency conflagration declaration for several fires including Beachie Creek, Lionshead, and Holiday Farm.

According to KATU 2, an ABC News affiliate in Oregon, more than 600 evacuees have taken shelter at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.

A spokesperson for Red Cross Cascades described current conditions and relief efforts, saying, "We have at least six temporary evacuation points set up all throughout the state. All those evacuation places are helping those who have been impacted by wildfires."

"Because of where these fires are occurring, people may have had to go in a direction they didn’t originally anticipate. Throughout the state, we have Red Cross volunteers ready and able to provide meals, shelter if necessary, provide immediate basic needs to those who had to flee at a moment's notice."

The Red Cross also explained that due to COVID-19, the way they offer help has changed. While shelter is available to evacuees, Red Cross volunteers on site are masked up, using hand sanitizer, and keeping their distance from people.

One Red Cross representative said, "We used to give a lot of hugs, we can’t do that anymore because of COVID-19, but that doesn’t diminish the support and assistance we can provide."

Red Cross says the best way to help the Red Cross help those in need is to donate online. For more information visit its website.

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