Wildfires have now claimed 28 lives in California, Oregon and Washington

Officials bracing for more casualties
Wildfires have now claimed 25 lives in California, Oregon and Washington
Posted at 6:24 AM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:13:59-04

Wildfires continue to ravage the western United States, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, where 28 people have died and officials are bracing for more death.

Hundreds of thousands of acres are currently burning in about 100 fires in 13 western states, but areas of Northern California and Oregon have seen unprecedented and catastrophic damage this week.

Since mid-Auhust least 19 people have died in California — nine alone in the North Complex Fire that's currently burning north of Sacramento. Eight people have now been killed in Oregon, and with dozens of people still missing, officials are expecting more casualties.

"We know we're dealing with fire-related death, and we're preparing for a mass fatality incident, based on what we know," said Andrew Phelps, the director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

A one-year-old boy was also killed in Washington state this week.

USA Today reports that cooler weather this weekend may aid firefighters. But in Oregon, officials fear that two large fires could merge and begin threatening an area near Portland — the state's largest city. More than 500,000 people have already been evacuated, a number representing about 10% of the state's population.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.