Sep 12, 2020 - Science

Dozens missing amid Oregon wildfires

a sign reading "fire danger"

Estacada, Oregon on Sept. 10. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Wildfires in Oregon have put about 500,000 residents under evacuation notices and left dozens missing as first responders sift through the rubble, AP reports.

The state of play: State emergency management director Andrew Phelps said Oregon is "preparing for a mass fatality event," but has not yet published an official death count. At least six deaths have been reported, according to the state-operated dashboard.

  • Hundreds of people are working to quell the fires as cooler weather has helped slow the flames' spread in recent days.

The big picture: The Oregon fires are just part of a blaze gripping the West Coast. California has been fighting massive infernos for weeks that have displaced thousands and fires are now creeping north into Washington state, where a 1-year-old boy has already been killed.

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the land scorched over the last five days has resulted in the state's second-worst fire season to date, while 2015 still holds first place.
Go deeper