Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber followed Washington State in declaring an emergency Wednesday night to bring in the National Guard to battle 13 wildfires, many of which are raging through the central part of the state.
More than 400 people were assigned to fight the fires, according to USA Today, including one that had burned through more than 2,000 acres in Mitchell, nearly 200 miles southeast of Portland. Some of the fires were started by lightning strikes on Friday and were expected to expand, assisted by the weather, which was hot and windy, the report added.
"Oregon is facing a severe fire season. Conditions are dry and new fires are starting daily," Kitzhaber said, according to USA Today.
Fires in Washington state, which declared an emergency in 30 counties Tuesday and dispatched two helicopters to aid in the firefighting effort, forced people in 860 houses to evacuate, according to Associated Press, or AP.
"I could tell that if you would have stood there with a shovel and a hose, even with an airplane dumping water on you, you wouldn't have made it out of there," David Pool, a resident of Moccasin Hill, reportedly told the Herald and News, according to USA Today adding: "There was so much fuel, so densely stacked up, I don't think it could have been stopped."
Wildfires were also burning through the states of Nevada, Idaho, Utah and California, AP reported, adding that activities linked to growing marijuana were the reason behind Friday's fires in Washington state.