Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency yesterday due to the imminent threat of wildfire across Oregon. Much of the state continues to experience high temperatures, wind, storms with dry lightning, and persistent drought. With the extended forecast in Oregon calling for continued warm and dry conditions—and with many parts of the state in drought emergencies—the threat of wildfire in Oregon is imminent.
“With wildfire behavior increasing across the state, and with the threat of fire not likely to recede in the near future, it is imperative that we act now to prevent further loss—of life, property, business, and our natural resources,” said Governor Kate Brown. “I issued this emergency declaration to ensure every resource is made available for firefighting efforts and to the crews striving to protect our state.
“It is equally important that each of us do our part to prevent wildfires and to be prepared for the ones we can’t prevent. I am urging Oregonians to take charge in preventing human-caused fires by being safe, responsible, and aware. I am also encouraging individuals and families to be prepared by making an emergency plan and to follow all evacuation orders should they occur in areas of active wildfire.”
Pursuant to ORS 401.165 et seq, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the imminent threat of wildfire. The Governor’s declaration authorizes the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, to utilize personnel, equipment, and facilities from other state agencies in order to respond to or mitigate the effects of the wildfire emergency. The declaration allows state agencies to temporarily suspend any rules that impair the response to wildfires, if needed, and also allows the state to request assistance from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact if necessary.
The emergency declaration is focused on helping to ensure that the state is prepared to marshal all available and necessary resources as quickly as possible as wildfires arise throughout this season. When state and national resources are limited, the Oregon National Guard will deploy firefighting resources in accordance with Operations Plan Smokey 2022.
A copy of the emergency declaration, Executive Order 22-17, is available here.