PORTLAND, OR -- State officials, fire managers and utilities are bracing for what could be a dangerous weekend. "The forecasted wind patterns, hot, dry weather and potential for lightning are making a challenging environment for increased fire danger in the coming days," Governor Kate Brown said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. She urged Oregonians to make an emergency plan now, in the event you have to evacuate or you lose power.
Pacific Power issued Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) warnings to around 12,500 customers, "In parts of Lincoln, Tillamook, Douglas, Linn and Marion Counties." Some of those began as early as 3 a.m. Friday. PGE also warned of possible PSPS in the Portland area and Columbia River Gorge.
Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps says the state is well prepared for what’s likely to come, "Knowing about the potential wildfire threat, the likelihood of power outages, limited resources, the fire already on the landscape, and the strain on our first responders, as well as the potential impacts to our critical infrastructure, we have chosen to activate the state’s emergency coordination center, to coordinate the needs and resources across the state."
John Hendricks, with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, tells KBND News 42 firefighters with three Washington task forces are now in Oregon, "One will be going down to Lane County to be prepositioned there. And then also we’ll be prepositioning one in Wasco County." The third is assigned to the Double Creek Fire in northeast Oregon, which is 15% contained at 137,179 acres, as of Friday morning.