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Thread: Oregon Wildfire roundup

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    Oregon Wildfire roundup

    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...nyon-09082020/

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) ? A fast-moving wildfire in the Santiam Canyon of Marion County is prompting evacuation orders ? which are getting more urgent by the hour.

    Last updated around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Marion County Sheriff?s Office issued Level 3 ?Go? evacuations for Lyons, Mehama, Detroit, Idanah and Highway 214 north of Silverfalls State Park to Scotts Mills. Level 2 ?Get Set? evacuations are in place for Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville and Highway 213 west of Mt. Angel in Silverton to Drakes Crossing.

    According to MCSO, Highway 22 remains closed from Stayton through the Santiam Canyon. If you have to evacuate, MCSO said, you will be allowed to get out of the canyon ? but no one will be able to return.

    The various state parks in the county have been evacuated as part of an emergency wildfire closure. Collier State Park was evacuated shortly before 9 p.m. on Monday, while Detroit, Mongold and North Santiam state parks were evacuated as of 2:40 a.m. Tuesday morning. Silver Falls State Park campground was also evacuated as of 5:30 a.m.

    MCSO said all residents who have not evacuated need to leave immediately due to the ?significant fire danger.?
    MCSO says it?s too dangerous for deputies to go door to door to notify families ? and they are begging people to leave their homes if they live in these areas.

    ?The extreme fire activity in the area poses an imminent danger to anyone who chooses to remain in the evacuated area. 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,? Sheriff Joe Kask said. ?I encourage anyone still in the Santiam Canyon to leave immediately following the deputies out of the area. I cannot say when the conditions will allow deputies and other emergency responders to return to the area to render assistance. Please leave now.?

    Those who need a place to go can travel to the evacuation center at the Oregon State Fairgrounds at Northeast 17th and Silverton Road in Salem. According to the Red Cross, about 100 people had arrived at the center by 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning.


    A second emergency evacuation center is set up at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds at Southeast Airport Way in Redmond as well. Call the Marion County Emergency Management information line at 503.391.7294 with any questions.

    KOIN 6 News will continue to update this story.

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    https://www.koin.com/local/clackamas...d-reverse-911/

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thousands of people are without power as crews battle large fires in Clackamas County Tuesday morning.

    A fire is roaring out near South Unger Road and South Bauer Road. A reverse 911 was activated due to the blaze, meaning residents living in the area were told to leave their homes in the middle of the night. Residents in the area of Wilhoit Road and South Bird Road south of Molalla have been notified as well.

    Fire crews say the flames have burned about 25 acres so far and one structure has been destroyed.

    Also in Clackamas County — a raging fire resulted in the hours-long closure of Highway 213 at Liberal Way and Macksburg Road. The highway was reopened shortly before 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning.


    Over 40,300 people in the county were without power as of 6 a.m. There are firefighters from Colton, Canby and Gresham helping battle the flames.

    Fire at abandoned building burns 12 acres in Oregon City
    On Monday night, a blaze in Oregon City that was visible over rooftops started in an abandoned industrial building, according to Clackamas Fire officials.

    The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it started in an abandoned building off of Agnes Avenue near the Clackamette Cove. From there, it spread to three other structures and then the surrounding land before firefighters were able to get the blaze contained. In total, four buildings were damaged and 12 acres were burned in Oregon City.

    Fire officials said no evacuations were needed in relation to the fire.

    This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will continue to update this story.
    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...fire-09082020/

    BREAKING UPDATE: Authorities have issued a Level 3 “GO” evacuation notice for the Dundee Road area near Hagg Lake.

    More to come.

    Earlier story below:

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As crews battle yet another wildfire in Oregon, evacuations have been issued for the area around Hagg Lake.

    RELATED CONTENT
    Over 40K without power as fires rage in Clackamas County
    Fire danger prompts Level 3 ‘GO’ evacuations in Santiam Canyon
    The so-dubbed Stimson Mainline Fire began early Tuesday morning in the hills south of the Hagg Lake dam near Gaston. The Forest Grove Fire Department announced a Level 2 “Get Set” evacuation for all of Dundee Road around 8:45 a.m. Residents in the area should prepare for a full evacuation. Meanwhile, all of Cherry Grove is under a Level 1 “Get Ready” order.

    High winds keep thousands powerless in Oregon, SW Washington
    Fire crews currently have a seaplane coming from Salem and will take water directly from Hagg Lake to douse the blaze.

    Hagg Lake has officially been closed, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Boat access and park use have been prohibited.

    This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will continue to update it
    https://www.koin.com/local/clackamas...n-oregon-city/

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A blaze in Oregon City that was visible over rooftops started in an abandoned industrial building Monday night, according to Clackamas Fire officials.

    The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it started in an abandoned building off of Agnes Avenue near the Clackamette Cove. From there, it spread to three other structures and then the surrounding land before firefighters were able to get the blaze contained. In total, four buildings were damaged and 12 acres were burned in Oregon City.

    Fire officials said no evacuations were needed in relation to the fire.


    Fire in Oregon City. September 7, 2020 (Courtesy Anna Zentner)
    Once the fire was contained and as crews transitioned into “overhaul mode,” Clackamas Fire said the biggest concern for the night was the wind, which has been a fire danger across Oregon and Southwest Washington all evening and is expected to last into Tuesday. Clackamas Fire reported that the wind was carrying embers up to an eighth of a mile away.


    As of 11 p.m. fire investigators were still on their way out to the scene to determine the cause.

    KOIN 6 News will update this story with more information as it develops.

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    https://www.opb.org/article/2020/09/...-monday-night/

    The Beachie Creek Fire, burning near Detroit, and the Lionshead Fire, near Breitenbush, had both remained relatively small since lightning strikes started them Aug. 16. But high winds and dry weather across the state reinvigorated the fires over the weekend, sparking new blazes as the winds carried embers miles down the canyon. Residents of Detroit, Breitenbush, Idanha and nearby communities were initially told to expect to evacuate by late Tuesday morning, but the situation deteriorated quickly overnight.

    Dry, east winds pushed fires along Highway 22 and Highway 126 down the canyons, sparking Level 3 evacuation notices that stretch for dozens of miles. Downed trees from the flames blocked traffic heading east on Highway 22, forcing fleeing residents to turn around and head for Salem.

    Early Tuesday morning, campers at Detroit Lake area state parks were evacuated. Later, campers and visitors at Silver Falls State Park near Sublimity and Silverton were evacuated. Oregon State Parks representatives told OPB those parks will be closed until further notice.

    Red Cross evacuation centers have been set up at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond to the east and Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem to the west.

    At 6:45 a.m., footage showed a fire burning in the fields near Molalla in Clackamas County. It is unclear if the fire was started by sparks from the nearby Beachie Creek Fire.

    Clackamas Fire said Tuesday morning that it had managed to contain several fires that sparked Monday night — including fires in and near Oregon City, near the Portland metro area. The agency said it is also responding to multiple fires reported in Estacada.

    Some school districts postpone classes
    Several Oregon school districts are postponing the first day of school Tuesday due to power outages and emergency evacuations.

    Affected school districts include Canby, Oregon City, Gervais, Molalla River and Colton.

    Cascade School District reports no kindergarten or preschool, and no distance learning due to several staff members evacuating due to fire danger.

    School for Scio students doesn’t start until Sept. 14, but district-wide training planned for teachers in the district has been postponed.

    In messages on social media, school districts expressed plans to reopen Wednesday.

    Food and technology distribution, as well as childcare, remain open at some sites.

    Oregon Coast Community College is also closed Tuesday due to highway closures, power outages, and local fires.

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    Fire, evacuations near Mckenzie Bridge
    A wildfire burning along Highway 126 near McKenzie Bridge has closed the highway and brought Level 3 “Go Now” evacuations from Walterville Elementary School to the McKenzie River Ranger Station near Belknap Springs, a stretch of over 40 miles. At 6 a.m., the Lane County Sheriff’s Office issued Level 1 “Be Ready” evacuations that extend west to the intersection of Highway 126 and Thurston Road, just a few miles east of Springfield. At 8:30 AM, the Level 3 “Go Now” order was expanded West to Walterville Elementary School from Leaburg.

    Evacuations for towns along Highway 22
    A series of fast-moving wildfires spurred Level 3 “Go Now” and Level 2 “Get Set” evacuations for communities along a 40-mile stretch of highway in the central Cascades late Monday night and into Tuesday.

    Towns along Highway 22, from Lyons-Mehama through Idanha, were told to evacuate immediately early Tuesday morning. The cities of Stayton and Sublimity were put under a Level 2 “Get Set” evacuation order shortly before 5 a.m. Fire has been reported as far west as Mehama, dozens of miles from the Beachie Creek Fire, and evacuees report seeing flames along both sides of Highway 22.

    Residents fled in the middle of the night, the status of their homes and friends uncertain. In a Facebook post, Mill City officials said “at this time we have no information on the status of our homes, businesses and community.” But on community Facebook groups, residents shared stories of their evacuations, letting each other know which houses and landmarks were still standing, and which were already gone.

    Residents of Stayton responded to a post on the city’s Facebook page, saying that they didn’t receive mobile emergency alerts notifying them of the Level 2 evacuation notices. Others farther east on Highway 22 under Level 3 evacuation orders said it took several hours for mobile alerts to arrive. Many heard of the evacuations in other ways and had already left their homes.

    There’s very little official information. Cell towers have been clogged and lines are down. For most of Tuesday morning, an emergency information line set up by the Marion County Sheriff’s department had rang busy, and residents and reporters have been unable to get through.

    At 7:15 AM, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office extended Level 3 “Go” orders to a large swath of residents from the city of Scott’s Mills south through the Crooked Finger area.

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    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...ters-09092020/

    New Fallout from the Oregon Fires

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) ? Wildfires continue to blaze throughout Clackamas County on Wednesday, including another one sparked by a motorist.

    ?The Spangler fire was started at 9 p.m. Tuesday when an RV pulling a Jeep south was emitting sparks and caught fire,? the Clackamas County Sheriff?s Office tweeted. ?The RV pulled over and it started the brush fire.?


    An RV pulling a Jeep sparked brush that became the Spangler Fire in Clackamas County, September 9, 2020 (Clackamas County Sheriff?s Office)
    Earlier Tuesday, a State of Emergency was declared for Marion County and Oregon?s Emergency Conflagration Act was invoked by Gov. Brown as wildfires ripped through the Santiam Canyon area of the county, prompting Level 3 ?Go? evacuations for multiple communities. In all, a dozen evacuation orders were issued for Clackamas County on Tuesday.

    In a late Tuesday press briefing, officials identified 4 major wildfires in the county: Dowty Fire, Riverside Fire, Unger Fire and Wilhoit Fire.

    The Dowty Fire has their attention in the Springfield area, authorities said. They have ?scarce resources? to battle all of these fires and don?t have a handle yet on how many buildings have been lost or even the size of the fires.

    Fires and evacuations: Here?s what you need to know
    ?Everyone needs to ready for an evacuation even if you are in a urban area,? said Nancy Bush, the Director of Disaster Management.

    Officials said they partnered with the Red Cross to help all those displaced ? as many as 2000 homes have been evacuated ? at the Clackamas Community College on OR 23 in Oregon City and also at Sandy High School. Authorities said they?re also working with local hotels.


    ?Our sheriff?s deputies and police and fire agencies were heroic and aided hundreds of people last night in the midst of fire. We will continue to work around the clock to protect our communities. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has lost homes or loved ones in this horrible fire,? Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The various state parks in the county have been evacuated as part of an emergency wildfire closure. Collier State Park was evacuated shortly before 9 p.m. on Monday, while Detroit, Mongold and North Santiam state parks were evacuated as of 2:40 a.m. Tuesday morning. Silver Falls State Park campground was also evacuated as of 5:30 a.m.

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    https://www.kgw.com/article/news/loc...2-9440676d8e41

    CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — County officials have declared a state of emergency as several active wildfires in the county led to evacuations. All of the county is under some level of evacuation.

    At least 30,000 people were alerted by officials to leave their homes immediately. Officials said Wednesday evening that people living anywhere in the county not explicitly under a Level 2 or Level 3 evacuation are under a Level 1 (be ready) evacuation order.



    Interactive map: Evacuation orders in Clackamas County

    "Everyone needs to be ready for evacuation even if you're in an urban area," Nancy Bush, Director of Disaster Management for Clackamas County said.

    Around 9:30 p.m. the sheriff's office announced Level 3 Evacuations would expand to include all of Eaden Road and west to South Harding Road.

    Around 8 p.m. county officials said the Level 3 evacuation area had expanded to a small area west of Beavercreek Road which includes all of S Gard Road. Also Unger Road to the first part of Windy City.

    County officials on Wednesday afternoon updated the list of evacuation check-in sites and provided a link that shows which sites are open, which are closed and which are full.

    Just after 1 p.m., the sheriff's office announced that the city of Estacada was under a Level 3 (Go now!) evacuation order due to the Riverside Fire. Deputies were going door to door to get people out of their homes.

    The Riverside Fire, in the Mt. Hood National Forest, was continuing to grow and push westward down Highway 224. The fire moved 17 miles on Tuesday. By Wednesday evening it had grown to 112,000 acres.

    Wednesday night, county officials said the Level 3 evacuation area had expanded to a small area west of Beavercreek Road which includes all of S Gard Road and Unger Road to the first part of Windy City. The area from Eaden Rd and west to S Harding Rd was also added.

    The three other major wildfires in the county are Dowdy, Unger and Wilhoit.

    Interactive map: Wildfires burning throughout Oregon

    A Clackamas County fire official said the fires were multiplying quickly throughout the week because the wind kept picking up embers from existing fires and carrying them to nearby areas, where they would start new spot fires.



    On Tuesday night, county officials reported a fire near Highway 213 and South Spangler Road around 10:30 p.m. By 11:30 p.m., ODOT had blocked the highway at Carus Road and Union Hall Road and notified people in the area to leave. At 3:04 a.m. Wednesday, Clackamas Fire tweeted that crews contained the fire and were putting out hot spots. The fire started when a motor home caught on fire and spread to a nearby house and about 10 acres of brush. Two homes burned down. Several other homes were evacuated but those evacuees have now returned. No injuries were reported.

    Your pics September 9, 2020: Images of the fiery skies across Oregon and Washington




    A fire broke out Monday night at RSG Forest Products, a lumber mill in Molalla off Highway 213. Early reports said the fire began around midnight when a tree fell on live wires in a nearby field.

    Clackamas County fire officials said early Tuesday morning the fire had grown to about 200 acres and was 50% contained. Winds continue to keep hot spots burning. About 50 homes had evacuated, according to fire officials.

    The fire chief of Molalla said because of a lack of water and resources, they were letting the wood product at the lumber mill burn so they can focus on protecting the machinery at the mill and homes in the area. Employees at RSG Forest Products were also helping protect the machinery.

    Evacuees were set up at Grace Church in Molalla and Molalla High School.

    Highway 213 was shut down Tuesday night but has since reopened.

    Residents in the area of South Wilhoit Road and South Bird Road, south of Molalla, have been notified of the fire.

    WILDFIRE
    All of Clackamas County is under Level 1, 2 or 3 evacuation order
    Firefighters are battling four active major wildfires. Thousands of homes have been evacuated.

    Author: KGW Staff
    Published: 6:31 AM PDT September 8, 2020
    Updated: 11:30 PM PDT September 9, 2020
    Facebook Twitter
    CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — County officials have declared a state of emergency as several active wildfires in the county led to evacuations. All of the county is under some level of evacuation.

    At least 30,000 people were alerted by officials to leave their homes immediately. Officials said Wednesday evening that people living anywhere in the county not explicitly under a Level 2 or Level 3 evacuation are under a Level 1 (be ready) evacuation order.



    MATOMA: Exclusive Interview
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    Interactive map: Evacuation orders in Clackamas County

    "Everyone needs to be ready for evacuation even if you're in an urban area," Nancy Bush, Director of Disaster Management for Clackamas County said.

    Around 9:30 p.m. the sheriff's office announced Level 3 Evacuations would expand to include all of Eaden Road and west to South Harding Road.

    Around 8 p.m. county officials said the Level 3 evacuation area had expanded to a small area west of Beavercreek Road which includes all of S Gard Road. Also Unger Road to the first part of Windy City.

    County officials on Wednesday afternoon updated the list of evacuation check-in sites and provided a link that shows which sites are open, which are closed and which are full.

    Just after 1 p.m., the sheriff's office announced that the city of Estacada was under a Level 3 (Go now!) evacuation order due to the Riverside Fire. Deputies were going door to door to get people out of their homes.

    The Riverside Fire, in the Mt. Hood National Forest, was continuing to grow and push westward down Highway 224. The fire moved 17 miles on Tuesday. By Wednesday evening it had grown to 112,000 acres.

    Wednesday night, county officials said the Level 3 evacuation area had expanded to a small area west of Beavercreek Road which includes all of S Gard Road and Unger Road to the first part of Windy City. The area from Eaden Rd and west to S Harding Rd was also added.

    The three other major wildfires in the county are Dowdy, Unger and Wilhoit.

    Interactive map: Wildfires burning throughout Oregon

    A Clackamas County fire official said the fires were multiplying quickly throughout the week because the wind kept picking up embers from existing fires and carrying them to nearby areas, where they would start new spot fires.



    On Tuesday night, county officials reported a fire near Highway 213 and South Spangler Road around 10:30 p.m. By 11:30 p.m., ODOT had blocked the highway at Carus Road and Union Hall Road and notified people in the area to leave. At 3:04 a.m. Wednesday, Clackamas Fire tweeted that crews contained the fire and were putting out hot spots. The fire started when a motor home caught on fire and spread to a nearby house and about 10 acres of brush. Two homes burned down. Several other homes were evacuated but those evacuees have now returned. No injuries were reported.

    Your pics September 9, 2020: Images of the fiery skies across Oregon and Washington
































































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    Jeff Skotland
    Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, OR. Credit: Jeff Skotland
    A fire broke out Monday night at RSG Forest Products, a lumber mill in Molalla off Highway 213. Early reports said the fire began around midnight when a tree fell on live wires in a nearby field.

    Clackamas County fire officials said early Tuesday morning the fire had grown to about 200 acres and was 50% contained. Winds continue to keep hot spots burning. About 50 homes had evacuated, according to fire officials.

    The fire chief of Molalla said because of a lack of water and resources, they were letting the wood product at the lumber mill burn so they can focus on protecting the machinery at the mill and homes in the area. Employees at RSG Forest Products were also helping protect the machinery.

    Evacuees were set up at Grace Church in Molalla and Molalla High School.

    Highway 213 was shut down Tuesday night but has since reopened.

    Residents in the area of South Wilhoit Road and South Bird Road, south of Molalla, have been notified of the fire.


    Portland General Electric reported at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday that nearly 25,000 residents in Clackamas County were without electricity due to high-wind and fire conditions.

    RELATED: Help Oregon and Washington residents affected by the wildfires


    On Wednesday, Clackamas County also issued an air quality advisory for the entire county due to the smoke from the wildfires.

    In a release, Clackamas County said it consulted the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and though it has issued and advisory, the air quality levels are changing rapidly.


    There are air quality advisories for many parts of Oregon including the Willamette Valley and the Portland-Vancouver area through Thursday afternoon.

    According to DEQ, you can take steps to protect your health when smoke levels are high:

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    https://www.koin.com/local/marion-co...ions-09102020/

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Wildfires raging in Marion County reached the town of Mehama along Highway 22 by 6 p.m. Thursday, Oregon Wildfire Joint Incident Command said.

    OR-22 is closed from seven miles west of Mehama to one mile west of Santiam Highway, according to transportation officials.

    Marion County remains in a State of Emergency as wildfires continue to roar throughout the county — including the Beachie Creek fire, which is now burning over 180,000 acres.

    Marion County Level 3 evacuations remain in place for Lyons, Mehama, Mill City, Gates, Detroit, Idanha and Highway 214 north of Silver Falls State Park to Scotts Mill. Officials say 9,764 structures are at Level 3 evacuations and another 11,941 homes are under in Level 2 evacuations.

    LIST: Temporary shelters as wildfires rip through Oregon
    The Beachie Creek Fire has grown to 182,000 acres as of Thursday morning. The inferno is now a part of the greater Santiam Fire Complex and has nearly joined with the Lionshead fire at the east end of Detroit Lake — which is currently burning just under 110,000 acres.

    There are currently over 400 fire personnel working to tame the blaze. The situation got so bad that at one point — fire crews considered airlifting people from the dock at Detroit Lake before finding an alternate route out.

    Fires and evacuations: Here’s what you need to know
    Sgt. Jeremy Landers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News they have not been able to confirm any reports of fatalities or how many structures were destroyed because the raging fires make some areas inaccessible.

    He said they’re aware some people chose not to leave. They really want people to pay close attention to the evacuation levels and not to go into areas that have already been evacuated.

    Marion County evacuations and resources
    Sign up for emergency alerts

    Heartbreak and looting
    Michelle Behrens-Webb told KOIN 6 News her brother’s home on Wagner Mountain — which was built by their grandparents — burned to the ground. She said her home in Lyons is OK for now but thinks it’s just a matter of time before it’s gone, too.

    “It’s just been like living in hell with this smoke and everything you love going up in smoke,” she said.

    Mill City Mayor Tim Kirsch said there’s another issue also going on: looting

    “It’s terrible. The looting part is just ridiculous,” Kirsch said. “I really am saddened by that because people have enough to worry about with their property being burned up, let alone stolen.”

    He added law enforcement is doing extra patrols to protect people’s property. So far there’s been at least one arrest and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said they plan to keep that person in custody until they can go to court.

    Officials said they know people want to go back and check on their homes, but they want people to stay out for now while all the evacuation orders are in place.

    The water reservoir in Mill City went down to critically low levels. They’re trying to shut off all unnecessary water use around town so it’s available for firefighters battling the blazes.

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    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...ldfire-rumors/

    Update there is now a reported conspiracy theory on the Oregon Wildfires. Geez its like the White House has to politicize wildfires too.

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least two Oregon law enforcement agencies are debunking rumors that antifa had a part in starting Oregon wildfires.

    The Molalla Police Department posted on Facebook on Thursday morning, saying “there has been NO antifa in town as of this posting at 02:00 am. Please, folks, stay calm and use common sense. Stay inside or leave the area.”


    It’s unclear where the initial rumors started. Antifa, according to the Associated Press, is shorthand for anti-fascists and an umbrella description for far-left-leaning militant groups.

    INTERACTIVE MAP: Air quality conditions in Oregon
    The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office posted a similar statement, saying “our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON.

    THIS IS NOT TRUE! Unfortunately, people are spreading this rumor and it is causing problems.”

    Authorities are still investigating the cause of the mega fires currently burning across the state. While saying some could have been human-caused, that does not mean they were intentionally set.

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    https://www.ksbw.com/article/evacuat...-flee/33995004

    Warning

    Deadly wildfires in heavily populated northwest Oregon were growing, with hundreds of thousands of people told to flee encroaching flames while residents to the south tearfully assessed their losses.

    The number of people ordered to evacuate statewide because of fires rose to an estimated 500,000 — more than 10 percent of the state's 4.2 million people, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management reported late Thursday. The number was calculated by determining how many people live in mandatory evacuation zones, said agency spokeswoman Bobbi Doan.


    Advertisement
    The Oregon Convention Center in Portland was among the buildings being transformed into shelters for wildfire evacuees.

    One fire approached Molalla, triggering a mandatory evacuation order for the community of about 9,000 located 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Portland. A police car rolled through the streets with a loudspeaker blaring “evacuate now.”

    Inmates were being moved from a women’s prison less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Interstate 5 in Portland’s southern suburbs “out of an abundance of caution,” the Oregon Department of Corrections said.

    With two large fires threatening to merge, some firefighters in Clackamas County, which includes Molalla, were told to disengage temporarily because of the danger. Officials tried to reassure residents who abandoned their homes and law enforcement officials said police patrols would be stepped up to prevent looting.

    The local fire department said on Twitter: “To be clear, your firefighters are still working hard on the wildfires in Clackamas County. They are taking a ‘tactical pause’ to allow firefighters to reposition, get accountability & evaluate extreme fire conditions."

    "We haven’t abandoned you,” the fire officials said.

    Residents of the small Oregon town of Phoenix near the California state line walked through a scene of devastation after one of the state's many wildfires wiped out much of their community. A mobile home park, houses and businesses were burned, leaving twisted remains on charred ground.

    Many of the residents were immigrants, with few resources to draw on.

    Artemio Guterrez stood helplessly next to his pick-up, surveying the rubble of his mobile home. His children sat quietly in the truck bed and waited for him to salvage what he could. He found a ceramic pot with a smiley face on it, some charred miniature houses from a Christmas-themed village and a cross that formed when two pieces of glass melted together.

    Guterrez, a single father of four, had been at work at a vineyard nearby when he saw thick smoke spreading through Rogue River Valley. He raced home just in time to snatch his kids from the trailer park where they live alongside dozens of other Mexican families. They got out only with the clothes they were wearing.

    “I’m going to start all over again. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either. You have to be a little tough in situations like this,” said Guterrez, who had just returned from his mother’s funeral in Mexico.

    Entire mobile home parks with many units occupied by Mexican immigrants who worked in nearby vineyards or doing construction were reduced to ash in Phoenix and nearby Talent.

    “We’re kind of like a family. We’ve known each other for years, since we came here or even before then,” Guterrez said of his neighbors at Talent Mobile Estates. “We’re living day by day.”

    As the fire approached Phoenix, Jonathan Weir defied evacuation orders, even as flames 30 feet (9 meters) high shot from trees. Fearing for his life, he drove his car to the entrance of a nearby mobile home park, where his tires began melting. His home was destroyed as the fire hopscotched through the town of 4,000 residents.

    “There were flames across the street from me, flames to the right of me, flames to the left of me. I just watched everything burn,” Weir told a reporter.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated that 600 homes were burned by the fire that started in Ashland and tore through Phoenix, the Mail Tribune of Medford reported.

    Oregon officials haven’t released an exact death count for the wildfires but at least four fatalities have been reported in the state. One person was killed in wildfires in Washington.

    Oregon officials said they were shocked by the number of simultaneous fires, which stood at 37 Thursday, according to the state Office of Emergency Management.

    Gov. Kate Brown said more than 1,400 square miles (3,600 square kilometers) have burned in Oregon over the past three days, nearly double the land that burns in a typical year in the state and an area greater than the size of Rhode Island.

    The Pacific Northwest fires fueled unsubstantiated social media posts blaming coordinated groups of arsonists from both the far left and far right for setting the blazes. Officials turned to Facebook to squash the competing narratives.

    Journalists have captured searing, intimate images of active and dangerous wildfires burning in California, due in large part to a decades-old state law that guarantees press virtually unfettered access to disaster sites in evacuated areas that are off-limits to the public. The access isn't as open in other states prone to wildfires.

    Back in Phoenix, Marty Curtis considered herself lucky. Her house was spared and she escaped with her cat, Louie.

    “You could see the flames. You could hear things popping — gas tanks and propane tanks exploding,” she said. “I have my house. I have my life. I have my cat and I have my job — and right now, that’s all I need.”

    ___

    Selsky reported from Salem, Oregon. Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Phoenix, Oregon; Nick Geranios in Spokane, Washington; and Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report. AP freelance photographer Paula Bronstein also contributed to this report from Talent and Phoenix, Oregon.

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    https://apnews.com/73035bce8d3a720e827738c3662e6793

    PHOENIX, Ore. (AP) — Stunned residents of the small Oregon town of Phoenix walked through a scene of devastation Thursday after one of the state’s many wildfires wiped out much of their community, including a mobile home park, houses and businesses.

    But even as residents in southern Oregon near the California border were assessing their losses, other wildfires in the northwest part of the state were growing, with more people told to flee for their lives.

    By Thursday evening, the number of people evacuated statewide because of fires had climbed to an estimated 500,000, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management reported. That’s more than 10% of the state’s 4.2 million population.

    A fire approaching Molalla triggered a mandatory evacuation order for the community of about 9,000 people 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Portland. A women’s prison less than a mile from Interstate 5 in Portland’s southern suburbs was being evacuated “out of an abundance of caution,” the Oregon Department of Corrections said.

    Some firefighters in Clackamas County, which includes Molalla, had been told to disengage because of dangerous fire activity as two large fires in the area were believed to be merging, according to the state fire marshal’s office.

    After spending the night in their cars in a Home Depot parking lot on the outskirts of Phoenix, a stream of people walked into what was left of the town that hugs Interstate 5. They hauled wagons and carried backpacks and bags to salvage whatever they could.

    Jonathan Weir defied evacuation orders as flames 30 feet (9 meters) high shot from the trees. He drove his car to the entrance of a nearby mobile home park, where his tires began melting. His home was destroyed as the fire hopscotched through the town of 4,000 residents.

    “There were flames across the street from me, flames to the right of me, flames to the left of me. I just watched everything burn,” Weir told a reporter.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated that 600 homes were burned by the fire that started in Ashland and tore through Phoenix, the Mail Tribune of Medford, Oregon, reported.

    At least 16 people have died in the wildfires across Oregon, Washington state and California, where hot, dry and windy weather combined to create near-perfect conditions for flames.

    The small farming town of Malden in eastern Washington was mostly destroyed, losing its fire station, post office, city hall and library. In California, thousands of homes were threatened Thursday after winds whipped a blaze into a monster that incinerated houses in a small mountain community and killed at least three people. Experts say the California fires are growing bigger and moving faster than ever before.

    Oregon officials were shocked by the number of simultaneous fires, which stood at 39 on Thursday morning, according to the state Office of Emergency Management.

    Gov. Kate Brown said more than 900,000 acres (364,000 hectares) — greater than the size of Rhode Island — have burned across the state in the past three days — nearly double the territory that burns in a typical year. She told a news conference that the exact number of fatalities was not yet known. More than 80,000 people have fled their homes, Brown tweeted.

    “We have never seen this amount of uncontained fire across the state,” Brown said.

    Back in Phoenix, Jerry Walker fled in his pajamas and only had time to grab some cash. He did not know if his apartment complex survived.

    “I’ve never seen devastation like this ever in my life,” Walker said. “I don’t know how we’re going on to recover.”

    Phoenix City Councilman Al Muelhoefer said the north end of the town was gone but he had heard of no fatalities.

    At least three people in Oregon were reported killed, including a boy and his grandmother, and several others critically burned. Deaths in Washington included a 1-year-old boy.

    Elsewhere, wildfires damaged towns in a canyon and the foothills of the Cascade Range, where the remains of a boy and his dog were found. Flames also hit the coastal town of Lincoln City and Estacada, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Portland.


    Fires also erupted along I-5, forcing a shutdown Wednesday of the main freeway along the West Coast. U.S. Highway 101, the main coastal highway running through California, Oregon and Washington, was affected too.

    Evacuees poured into the state fairgrounds in Salem, many bringing their animals.

    Assisted by neighbors and strangers, Catherine Shields evacuated her home in Silverton with a menagerie of animals. As smoke obscured the sun and ash fell from the sky, the group helped load three horses, a donkey, two llamas, a dozen sheep, geese, ducks, turkeys and dogs into trailers and vehicles.

    She marveled at how people were pulling together despite the nation’s political divisiveness.

    “In the last 24 hours, we just felt people are doing their best,” Shields said Wednesday as she walked one of the horses at the fairgrounds.

    The Jackson County sheriff confirmed at least one death and a criminal investigation at the origin point of a wildfire that started near Ashland, according to the Mail Tribune in Medford.

    Lloyd Dean Holland, a Vietnam veteran, barely escaped his home in Estacada on Tuesday night. He left his rental house as flames exploded in cedar trees around him. He said his sole remaining possessions — his dog, rifles, dentures and some clothing — were all in the truck he used to flee.

    Full Coverage: Wildfires
    “I’ve been through hell and high water but nothing like this. I’ve been shot down and shot at but this — last night — I’m still not over it,” Holland said.

    Back in Phoenix, Marty Curtis was luckier. Her house was spared. She escaped with her cat, Louie.

    “You could see the flames. You could hear things popping — gas tanks and propane tanks exploding,” she said. “I have my house. I have my life. I have my cat and I have my job — and right now, that’s all I need.”

    ___

    Selsky reported from Salem, Oregon. Associated Press writers Sara Cline in Salem; Rachel La Corte in Sumner, Washington; Nick Geranios in Spokane, Washington; and Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report.

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    https://abc7.com/man-charged-with-ar...dfire/6420067/


    SALEM, Ore. -- An Oregon man was charged with arson in connection to a raging wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes, one of the blazes gripping the West Coast with death and devastation.

    Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, was jailed on two charges of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief and 14 counts of reckless endangering for a fire that was set Tuesday in the Phoenix area in southern Oregon.

    The fire merged with the raging Almeda Fire, and there is "significant damage" that police are attributing to the fire allegedly set by Bakkela, Jackson County Sheriff's Office public information officer Mike Moran told ABC News.

    "There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief," Moran said.

    The fire also had an ignition point in Ashland near a spot where a man was found dead.

    Bakkela initially was arrested on Tuesday for a probation violation on an original charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Authorities charged him Friday in connection with the fire, which he denied starting.

    The FBI noted that several false statements online claim that far-right and far-left extremists set the raging West Coast fires. The agency has firmly denied these claims.

    "FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources," the FBI said in a statement.

    A change in the weather - with winds easing and humidity rising - have helped firefighters battling Oregon's massive blazes.

    Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that dozens of people were still missing and tens of thousands had been forced to flee their homes. The state's emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, said officials are "preparing for a mass fatality event" and thousands of structures have been destroyed.

    Oregon officials haven't released an exact death count but at least eight fatalities have been reported. Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast said Friday evening that searchers had found two victims of the Beachie Creek fire near Salem. A 1-year-old boy was killed in wildfires in Washington.

    Brown said more than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and about 500,000 are in different levels of evacuation zones, either having been told to leave or to prepare to do so.

    The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.

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    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54130785

    Dozens of people are missing in Oregon alone, state Governor Kate Brown has said, as deadly wildfires continue to sweep through US West Coast states.

    Fires have been raging in California, Oregon and Washington for three weeks.

    Fanned by winds amid record heat, the blazes have burnt millions of acres, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed at least 25 people.

    California's Governor Gavin Newsom said the fires show the debate around climate change is "over".

    "Just come to the state of California. Observe it with your own eyes," he told reporters from a charred mountainside.

    In pictures: Oregon fires force thousands to flee
    Smoke from California wildfires turns skies orange
    False claims about Oregon fires spread online
    The fires have burnt a total 4.5m acres - an area larger than Connecticut and slightly smaller than Wales - in recent weeks, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

    The smoke pollution from the wildfires has left Oregon's largest city, Portland, with the worst air quality in the world, followed by San Francisco and Seattle, according to IQAir.com.

    White House spokesman Judd Deere announced in a tweet on Saturday that President Donald Trump would visit California on Monday.

    What is happening in Oregon and Washington?
    In Oregon, where firefighters are battling 16 large blazes, 40,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.

    Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) says the fires have killed six people, but officials warn the final death toll could be much higher.

    Governor Kate Brown on Friday implored householders to stay out of the fire zones despite reports of looting.

    "Let me assure you that we have the Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Police monitoring the situation and preventing looting," she said.


    Media captionDrone footage shows homes completely wiped out by wildfires
    Beatriz Gomez Bolanos, 41, told Reuters news agency of her family's frightening drive to safety through fires burning on both sides of their car. She told her four children to close their eyes as they made their escape.

    "Everything is gone. We have to start again from nothing, but we are alive," she told the news agency.

    At least one blaze in Oregon - the Almeda Fire, one of the most destructive in the state - is being treated as suspected arson.

    In Washington State, firefighters are tackling 15 large fires. A one-year-old boy died earlier this week as his family tried to escape a blaze. His parents remain in critical condition.

    While natural factors such as strong winds have helped the spread of these massive fires, the underlying heating of the climate from human activities is making these conflagrations bigger and more explosive.

    Nine of the world's 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005, and the UN warned this week that the five years from 2016 until this year will very likely be the hottest such period yet recorded. Both Oregon and California have warmed by more than 1C since 1900.

    The sustained warmth has seen six of the 20 largest fires on record in California all occur this year. In Oregon, the spate of fires has burned nearly twice the average annual losses in just the past week.

    In California, a prolonged drought over the past decade has killed millions of trees, turning them into potent fuel for the fires. Mountain regions that are normally cooler and wetter have dried out more rapidly in the summer, adding to the potential fuel load.

    Climate scientists had forecast that western wildfires would grow in size, scale and impact - but their predictions are coming to fruition faster than expected.

    A really simple guide to climate change
    What is the latest in California?
    Governor Newsom, a Democrat, spoke on Friday as he inspected damage from the North Complex Fire, near Oroville in Northern California.

    "The debate is over, around climate change," Mr Newsom told reporters. "This is a climate damn emergency. This is real and it's happening."

    He acknowledged failings in forest management in recent decades, but added: "That's one point, but it's not the point."

    Highlighting the states effort to combat climate change, he said the record heat waves and unprecedented fires were the sort of problems long forecast by scientists.


    Media captionFive ways that show the scale of California's 2020 wildfires
    President Trump, a climate sceptic, has stressed poor fire-control measures as the main cause of the latest blazes.

    "You've got to clean your forests - there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they're... so flammable," he told a rally last month.

    The North Complex Fire, which has been burning since 18 August, is among the deadliest in history. Ten bodies have been found so far and another 16 people are missing.

    California has seen at least 20 deaths in total from fires since 15 August. Tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders as 14,800 firefighters continue to combat 28 major fires in the state.

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    https://nypost.com/2020/09/13/oregon...ing-wildfires/

    Oregon’s top fire official has resigned as blazes continue to ravage the state and displace thousands of people.

    Fire marshal Jim Walker gave his resignation Saturday to the superintendent of the Oregon State Police, Oregon Live reported.

    It came hours after the force announced that he was placed on paid administrative leave.

    No reason was given for his departure, but a source said that Police Superintendent Travis Hampton had lost faith that Walker could handle the unprecedented wildfires, the newspaper reported.

    Chief Deputy Mariana Ruiz-Temple has been appointed to serve as the new fire marshal.

    “Mariana has led with grace, transparency and courage,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. “She embodies the experience Oregon needs to face this crisis, in this moment.”

    The fires have killed at least ten people and burned more than 1 million acres throughout the state, Oregon Live reported.

    At least 40,000 people have fled their homes, while about a half-million others have either been told to leave or prepare to do so, Brown said.

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    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...ions-09162020/


    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) ? After more than a week of devastation and uncertainty due to multiple wildfires in the area, progress is being made on the raging Beachie Creek Fire.

    As the Beachie Creek Fire swallows nearly 200,000 acres of land, thousands of homes and businesses remain under Level 3 evacuation notices in Marion County. However, crews have now contained up to 20% of the blaze.

    Numerous evacuees remain at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, and for many, it?s been a grueling wait to find out if they still have a home.

    At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Marion County Sheriff?s Office said evacuation levels for portions of the Mehama and Lyons communities were downgraded to Level 2. The current evacuations are as follows:

    LEVEL 3 ?GO?: Detroit, Idanha, Breitenbush, Mill City, Gates, North Fork Road north of Highway 22, Highway 22 east of Highway 226.

    LEVEL 2 ?BE SET?: Lyons, Mehama west of Highway 226, Fernridge Road west of Shellburg Creek Road to Basil Hill, Scotts Mills, Crooked Finger Rd and Moss Lane

    LEVEL 1 ?GET READY?: Areas east of Meridian Rd, Davis Creek and Victor Point south to the Marion County line

    Also, the Marion County Sheriff?s Office identified 2 Lyons residents who died in the fires: Cathy Cook, 71, and 41-year-old Justin Cook. They were found near their property in the 32000 block of North Fork Lane in Lyons, officials said.

    Beachie Creek Fire

    The Beachie Creek Fire has devoured 190,911 acres about six miles north of Detroit. However, the growth in acreage from earlier in the week is not due to any fire spread ? but because an aerial assessment gave a more accurate mapping.

    Firefighters tackling the Beachie Creek Fire worked to further secure its perimeter Tuesday while the neighboring Riverside Fire remained about a mile away.

    Officials said the combination of winds, dry forests, and terrain means it is still possible for the two fires to merge ? however, they say based on current weather, a future merger would not likely result in ?dynamic fire behavior as seen last week.?

    The Beachie Creek Fire has been burning since August 16, several weeks before the wave of multiple wildfires swallowed Oregon over the Labor Day weekend. The fire has claimed the lives of at least four people with 10 people still missing.

    The Lionshead Fire

    The Lionshead Fire continues to grow and is now listed at 168,097 acres with 10% containment.

    Firefighters will continue strengthening containment lines to the east of the lightning-caused fire. Officials say Tuesday was a very successful and active day around the perimeter.

    They will reevaluate evacuation levels as the containment further progresses.

    Due to the danger from falling trees, rock slides, and continued roadway hazards along Highway 22, access to the Level 3 evacuation zone for animal removal and feeding has been suspended.

    Latest Oregon wildfires: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
    Due to roadway hazards such as falling trees and rock slides along Highway 22, access to the Level 3 evacuation zone for animal removal and feeding has been suspended. Officials met on Monday to discuss how residents could safely feed and care for their animals, but no plan has been finalized.

    Wildfires in Oregon: Names, locations, size, containment
    INTERACTIVE MAP: Air quality conditions in Oregon
    While law enforcement is still limiting access to the Santiam Canyon, Detroit and Idanha residents can request a check on their property by calling 503.798.6823 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day of the week. They should provide the following information when they call: Name, address, phone number, information about anyone missing from the location, and any animals at the location.

    Marion County evacuations and resources
    Sign up for emergency alerts

    To report a family member missing, please contact the non-emergency dispatch at 503.588.5032. As of Sunday morning, the Marion County Sheriff?s Office said they have five people who have been reported as missing.

    Two People have been identified as victims in the Oregon Wildfires Cathy Cook, 71, and 41-year-old Justin Cook are reported killed by wildfire according to Marion County Sheriff?s Office.

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    https://www.koin.com/news/wildfires/...rning-caution/


    CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — Officials are sounding a new alarm as torched land across Oregon is now primed for a different kind of disaster: flash floods.

    Heavy rain began falling Thursday night, which could trigger flash floods and dangerous debris flows up and down the entire Cascades. Landslide and flash flood warnings aren’t uncommon during winter months but they can be especially problematic for areas burned by wildfires.


    “This happens a handful of times every winter,” explained Bill Burns, an engineering geologist at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. “But in this case, it happens to overlap in these areas with recent wildfires.”

    Wildfires remove vegetation and add layers of debris like ash and wood — materials that are easily eroded during bursts of heavy rainfall, thus making landslides more likely, Burns said.

    Smoky still in Oregon, but heavy rain may bring flash flooding
    Landslides and debris flows can travel with avalanche speeds and hit with little or no warning. Debris flows can travel miles from their source, don’t always stay in stream channels and can flow sideways and downhill.

    “Where these occur generally are at the mouths of the canyons so where the canyon comes out onto the flat valley floor underneath very steep, vertical cliffs — the debris flows come out of the mouths of those canyons,” said Burns. “If people live in these areas or are passing through these areas during these periods of rainfall that we are going to have in the next 24 hours or so, they should be really cautious.”

    Oregon landslides map

    In Clackamas County, officials warned of the danger to the Highway 224 corridor between Estacada and Ripplebrook and urge people to avoid the area. People in Marion County are also at risk.

    A wildfire destroyed Shawnee Selmer’s home in Mill City. Selmer and her family went back on Sept. 12 to see what remained.

    “Even when we were up there, everything was just shifting down and just falling,” she told KOIN 6 News. “Because we lived on a cliff, everything just is kind of going to shove off a cliff, it looks like — all the houses that are burned.”

    Selmer’s family hopes rain will put out the fires and stop short of causing any more chaos. A GoFundMe has been launched to help Selmer and her 2-year-old child get back on their feet.

    Further south, utility work was suspended in the Holiday Farm Fire area starting Thursday afternoon. Authorities said utility crews and non-essential people should keep out of Level 3 evacuation areas and areas scorched by the fire until at least Friday evening. Only crews directly related to the Highway 126 snagging operation or Leaburg dam operations will be allowed into fire areas during this time, officials said.

    Oregon wildfires and evacuations latest: What you need to know
    Remember: debris flows can move faster than you can run. Warning signs include unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together and faint rumbling. Stay informed on the weather in your area and be vigilant. For some, the danger of landslides and flash flooding may mean a second evacuation.

    If you find yourself in the path of a landslide, officials say to run uphill as fast as possible. Avoid river valleys and low-lying areas and never cross bridges if you see a flow coming toward you.

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