President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Oregon on Tuesday as the state reels from powerful blazes that have razed through more than one million acres, destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and left eight dead.
On Monday Governor Kate Brown asked for a major disaster declaration for a wider range of federal assistance programs and infrastructure upgrades after Trump issued an emergency declaration last week.
Devastating drone footage shows the completely scorched Oregon towns of Talent and Phoenix where homes were destroyed, pink fire retardant was sprinkled over wreckage and driveways, trees were blackened with ash and cars were melted down to their metal skeletons.
On Tuesday heartbroken locals were seen comforting each other as they returned to the burned remains of their homes.
Devastating aerial footage shows the scorched Oregon town Talent, which was destroyed by the Almeda Fire last week. Drone footage shows homes reduced to rubble, streets covered in pink fire retardant and the neighborhood eerily empty
Homes were flattened to the ground, trees blackened with ash and streets covered with pink fire retardant in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon. The blaze still destroyed 600 residences and killed three people
Streets were empty on Tuesday and the sky covered in smoke in Talent, Oregon where locals were evacuated due to the blaze
The heartbreaking return: Michael Garcia, Arath Ramirez and Leonard Barila prop up the front door to Ramirez’s burned down home on Tuesday in Talent, Oregon
Holding on: Dee Perez comforts Michael Reynolds in the ruins of his home destroyed in the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon Tuesday
Michael Reynolds pauses while looking for keepsakes in the ruins of his home on Tuesday in Talent, Oregon
Arath Ramirez props up the front door to his burned down home on Tuesday. The Almeda fire razed through Talent, Oregon as well as the nearby town of Phoenix
‘Oregon is resilient, but to fight fires on this scale, we need all the help we can get. Grateful we’ve been quickly granted a Presidential Disaster Declaration, helping provide support like damage assessment teams, search & rescue, debris management, shelter & medical assistance,’ Gov. Brown tweeted Tuesday.
There are more than 30 fires burning in Oregon and some 40,000 Oregonians have fled their homes and more than 400,000 are under some form of evacuation orders.
Earlier this week Oregon’s death toll was 10 but it dropped to at least eight after two sets of remains thought to be human were determined to be animals.
Fifty people remain unaccounted for and 16 people are missing, according to the Oregon Office of management.
This week heartbroken residents slowly returned to their neighborhoods, only to find the blackened, and charred remains left in the fire’s wake.
Locals in the town of Talent were seen hugging each other and breaking down with emotion as they pilfered through their destroyed possessions.
Talent and the nearby town of Phoenix were scorched in the Almeda Fire that started on August 8 and burned through 5,716 acres and is now 100 percent contained.
The blaze destroyed 600 residences and 100 other structures and killed three. Overall 42,000 civilians were affected and two firefighters were injured.
In Marion County the area is reeling from the massive Lionshead and Beachie Creek fires that may merge with the Riverside fire in Clackamas County.
Gov. Kate Brown thanked Donald Trump Tuesday for declaring a major disaster to get extra federal assistance as the state reels from a spate of wildfires
A map of wildfires raging in Oregon pictured above as of Monday evening
Nothing left: The Almeda Fire started on August 8 and burned through 5,716 acres and is now 100 percent contained. A view of the fire’s damage in Talent, Oregon above
The Almeda blaze destroyed 600 residences and 100 other structures and killed three people. The fire’s ruins in Talent, Oregon above
An aerial view shows properties destroyed by the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon pictured above
An aerial view shows properties destroyed by the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon on Tuesday
Ghost town: A sign melted in the fiery Almeda blaze at a Talent, Oregon gas station as pictured above on Tuesday
In California locals have put up signs to thank firefights after the CZU Lightning complex fire tore through parts of Felton in Santa Cruz County
A view of burned out vehicles on Big Basin Road in Felton, California after the massive CZU Lightning Complex tore through
The massive CZU Lightning Complex fire burned through 86,509 acres and is now 93 percent contained. View of Felton, California above
On Monday fire crews did their best to maintain a 30,000-acre ‘finger of timber’ between them, according to Oregon Live.
The Beachie Creek wildfire has grown to over 190,000 acres and is 20 percent contained and has killed four as of Wednesday morning.
The Lionshead fire that was sparked by lightning and is located west of Warm Springs has spread to 168,097 acres and is just five percent contained. From Monday to Tuesday alone the blaze grew 19,415 acres.
Now officials are focused on the Brattain fire in Lake County that threatens the small town of Paisley and is fueled by strong winds and low humidity.
Paisley which has a population of just 270 is under a mandatory evacuation order.
Across the western US, at least 87 wildfires are burning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
California, Oregon and Washington state are all reeling from historic fires that have sent smoke all the way across the country reaching the Midwest, New York and even Canada.
A firefighter works at the scene of the Bobcat Fire burning on hillsides near Monrovia Canyon Park in Monrovia, California on Tuesday
Michael Kunch uses a garden hose to water down his roof as a protective measure as the Bobcat Fire burns down a nearby hillside in the San Gabriel mountains on Tuesday in Monrovia, California
‘Hotshot’ firefighters work to contain the Bobcat Fire burning on a hillside on on Tuesday
A firefighter works at the scene of the Bobcat Fire burning on hillsides near Monrovia Canyon Park on Tuesday in California
In Oregon eight people have been killed, in California 25 people have died and one person was killed in Washington state. In California, where more than 16,500 firefighters are battling 28 major wildfires.
Meanwhile residents of Oregon, Washington and California are suffering the worst, most unhealthy air on the planet according to some measurements under the swathe of yellow and orange smog. In those states the air quality is considered hazardous, according to AirNow, an air quality database maintained by government agencies.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality extended an air quality alert to Thursday after it was to initially expire on Monday.
‘I grew up in Oregon and lived here a long time, and to see this much smoke for this long and wide spreading, really stands out in the state’s history,’ Dylan Darling, a spokesman for the state’s department of Environmental Quality, said.
Some areas in central California suffering from smoke may not see relief until October, according to Dan Borsum, an incident meteorologist for a fire in Northern, California.
President Donald Trump met with California officials to discuss the wildfires on Monday in Sacramento where he defied comments about global warming
Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom pictured speaking at Sacramento McClellan Airport on Monday during a briefing on wildfires
Oregon State police opened the first-ever mobile morgue in response to the devastating wildfires, setting it up in Linn County.
A separate facility is expected to open this week where families of the dead and missing can undergo rapid DNA testing to aid in identification, according to Oregon Live.
The state has activated a 75-member regional response team to recover remains in the field and operate the mobile morgue.
Oregon State Police Capt. Tim Fox said the state opened the facility to ease the burden on local medical examiners’ offices and to quickly identify remains ‘so we can give family members closure as soon as possible. We understand this is a super tragic event. We understand this is hard.’
In Oregon, armed patrol groups are illegally stopping people in evacuation zones to assure looters don’t come through.
In Oregon, armed patrol groups are illegally stopping people in evacuation zones to assure looters don’t come through
Clackamas County Sheriff Crag Roberts said Monday that his agency responded to more than 330 calls for service over the past week – a 400 percent increase from the previous week of people trying to protect their property or threatening others armed with guns. Some locals have erected signs like this one saying: ‘You loot we shoot’
Clackamas County Sheriff Crag Roberts said Monday that his agency responded to more than 330 calls for service over the past week – a 400 percent increase from the previous week.
‘We have a group of different individuals that are actually trying to protect property. They actually have been armed and are stopping individuals within the commune out there. First thing I’d ask them to do is please stop that. We have reached out to a number of them. If they see somebody suspicious, call us. Let us handle it. It is illegal to stop somebody at gunpoint,’ he said.
He revealed that many people are going into these areas to fetch some of their belongings before evacuating again.
Several makeshift spray paint signs in Colton and Estacada Oregon have emerged threatening to shoot those who trespass on property.
‘Home and armed. You loot, we shoot,’ one sign said.
Another said: ‘Looters and arsonists will be shot.’
Another said: ‘We won’t call your family. Your body will never be found! Bang Bang!’