Ns News Online Desk: Dozens of people are missing in Oregon wildfires that have displaced tens of thousands of people, Governor Kate Brown has said. She implored householders to stay out of the fire zones despite reports of looting. Oregon’s emergency management director Andrew Phelps said they were braced for a “mass fatality event” from the fires.
The infernos have killed at least four in Oregon and 11 elsewhere. One hundred blazes are now scorching 12 US states.
What did the governor say?
She told reporters on Friday: “As of now, there are early reports from our state police that there are dozens of missing persons related to the fires specifically in Jackson, Lane and Marion counties.”
State officials said a day earlier that half a million people were affected. But Ms Brown said on Friday the higher figure included those who remained at home but had been advised to be ready to evacuate.
Ms Brown added: “I know that rumors of looting are extremely alarming and that it’s unsettling not to know whether your home is still standing. “Let me assure you that we have the Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Police monitoring the situation and preventing looting.”
Police in Marion County, south of Portland, arrested two men after a car chase on Thursday for allegedly breaking into and looting evacuated homes in the area. The governor noted that federal aid had been approved, which will help provide additional support in fighting the fires and caring for those displaced.