Oregon Office of Emergency Management
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News Release
Oregon Wildfire Response Update: September 13, 2020 - 09/13/20

Salem, OR – September 13, 2020 – State, federal, county and tribal partners are fully engaged in response and recovery efforts for the more than 30 fires burning statewide in Oregon.

With thick smoke limiting aviation resources, firefighters are struggling to contain the fires, the largest of which is more than 55 miles wide. 

More than 1 million acres have burned, leaving thousands of Oregonians displaced from their homes. A total of 3,023 people are currently being supported in shelters run by local counties, the state and the American Red Cross. Shelters are following COVID-19 guidance for group and non-congregate settings to limit spread of the virus. Many evacuated Oregonians are sheltering with friends and family, while others are staying in RVs or vehicles. The American Red Cross has temporary shelters available throughout western Oregon, and those shelters have space available for more evacuees. For a list of temporary shelters, see the Red Cross Oregon website.  

Help donations go where they are needed most
Though well intended, please do not take donations to evacuation centers. Counties have received an influx of donations of materials they are unable to distribute. Unsolicited goods burden local organizations’ ability to meet survivors’ confirmed needs, drawing away valuable volunteer labor, transportation and warehouse space.  

At this time, the best way for the public to help people who are affected by wildfires is to make a financial contribution to the American Red Cross or one of the certified organizations that are members of Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. These on-the-ground organizations know what items and quantities are needed, often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through businesses local to the disaster, which supports economic recovery.

To donate food, water and other items, reach out to your local food pantry or Community Action Partnership to see if they are able to receive donations. Find food pantries at https://foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org/.  Community Action Partnership of Oregon: https://caporegon.org/   Phone: 503-316-3951

Help find and reunite loved ones: 
OEM urges the public to update information on their status with the Red Cross. Let loved ones know you are safe at the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website. State emergency managers encourage people affected by the fires, whether or not they have evacuated, to register on the site. It is a helpful tool that can bring relief to people looking for loved ones during these fires, and help inform search efforts. 

News media and the public can receive news releases from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management by signing up with an email address at the FlashAlert website

Members of the public who are seeking additional information, dial 211 or 1-866-698-6155. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211). 

Visit wildfire.oregon.gov to for information about donating, volunteering, packing checklist and emergency response agency websites by county.

View more news releases from Oregon Office of Emergency Management.