With wildfires raging in counties surrounding Portland, and hundreds of fires extinguished in residential areas throughout the city, Portland issued an emergency order Thursday, Sept. 10.
Mayor Ted Wheeler's office announced a fire emergency order Thursday that will remain in effect until Sept. 24. Included in the order:
•Closure of City-owned outdoor properties
•Protecting the City's houseless population
•Activating evacuation sites for fire victims
•Identifying financial resources to be used to protect public health, safety and welfare
The order directs the city's homeless population to "relocate as quickly as possible to safer areas within the city," in an effort to reduce further fire risk and prevent the city's homeless from being stuck under the thick blanket of smoke and ash that coated the city Thursday. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for the majority of the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. Earlier that day, Portland was deemed to have the worst air quality in the world, according to Swiss air-tech firm IQAir.
The order stopped short of providing a list of resources or areas for safe evacuation for the city's houseless population.
As of Thursday, no portions of Multnomah County were under evacuation orders.
At least one site in Portland, the Oregon Convention Center, was activated as an evacuation center Thursday for fire victims in neighboring counties like Clackamas.
The emergency order was issued due to "extreme wildfire conditions threatening lives and property, including wildfire threats to the city of Portland and the greater Portland metropolitan area," the emergency declaration states.
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