Local & Regional
SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon's governor declared a State of Emergency Thursday afternoon because of the imminent threat that wildfires pose to the state.
Governor John Kitzhaber verbally declared the State of Emergency at 6 p.m. after determining that Oregon is in a critical fire danger situation that poses a threat to life, safety and property.
The forecast calls for hot, dry, windy conditions and thunderstorms which has put much of the state under a red flag warning. There are already six significant fires currently burning over 200 square miles of Oregon land. Over a million acres have been scorched in the last six weeks.
Governor Kitzhaber said that Oregon is standing strong in the face of what he called a challenging stretch in this year's fire season.
"As national firefighting resources are constricted, my top priority is to ensure the state is able to effectively contain wildfires to keep the public and our firefighters safe." said Kitzhaber.
The declaration authorized the use of Natl. Guard helicopters at the Barry Point fire, as well as additional crews and resources as needed. These resources will be coordinated by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Military Department when fighting the state's wildfires.