Emergency evacuations ordered amid fast-moving wildfire in Oregon

West

PORTLAND, Ore. (NewsNation Now) — Evacuation orders are gaining urgency in western Oregon as a fast-moving wildfire threatens communities in Santiam Canyon.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office issued a Level 3 evacuation notice Tuesday morning, telling residents in the Santiam Canyon, from Mehama east to Detroit, to leave the area immediately. The evacuations include the North Fork corridor, Mill City, Gates, Idanha and Detroit, the office said.

The wildfire is threatening homes and various state parks, which also ordered evacuations.

Marion County officials said it was too dangerous for sheriff’s deputies to knock on doors to notify families of evacuations, NewsNation affiliate KOIN reported.

“The extreme fire activity in the area poses an imminent danger to anyone who chooses to remain in the evacuated area,” Sheriff Joe Kask told KOIN. “Our deputies are committed to helping keep our community safe; however, conditions have become too dangerous for them to continue with evacuation efforts at this time.”

Emergency officials in the county and the American Red Cross have set up an evacuation staging area at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The Red Cross reported that about 100 people had sought help at the center by 6 a.m. PT Tuesday.

Volunteers are also offering help at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and a high school in Springfield.

Meanwhile, widespread power outages hit areas across the state, as well as parts of Washington.

Portland General Electric turned off power for roughly 5,000 customers near Mt. Hood Monday night as a preemptive measure to prevent wildfires. Roughly 60,000 other PGE customers also lost power as wind gusts reached up to 60 mph. Pacific Power and the Clark County Public Utilities Department also reported outages Monday night.

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