Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Friday said dozens of people were missing and tens of thousands displaced because of wildfires that threatened to merge near the most populous area of the state, including the suburbs of its largest city Portland, AP reported.
Brown said that more than 40,000 residents of the state have been evacuated and around 5,00,000 are in different levels of evacuation zones, either prepared to leave or been told to do so. She further asked residents to keep away from the fire zones, where incidents of looting have also emerged, BBC reported.
I know that rumours of looting are extremely alarming and that its unsettling not to know whether your home is still standing, she said. Let me assure you that we have the Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Police monitoring the situation and preventing looting. Authorities have said a man has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire in southern Oregon on Tuesday.
At least four people have been killed in Oregon and 11 in other parts of the country, taking the total number of deaths in the United States West Coast to 15. More than a hundred fires are blazing through 12 states in the country.
Oregons emergency management director Andrew Phelps said officials were preparing for a mass fatality event, adding that thousands of structures have been destroyed. Other structures, including the Oregon Convention Centre in Portland, were being converted into evacuation centres.
Firefighters in the states were battling 16 blazes in the state, said Oregon's forestry department fire protection chief Doug Grafe, adding that...