As multiple wildfires continue to ravage parts of Oregon, photos and videos showcasing the state’s apocalyptic-like skies are making the rounds on social media.
A wildfire in the Santiam Canyon region propelled smoke into the Willamette Valley beginning on September 7, according to The Salem Reporter. The result has been blood-red and burnt-orange-splattered skies, according to social media pictures.
“On Tuesday morning, Salem residents woke to dark orange and red skies,” The Salem Reporter indicated.
Previously dubbed the Beachie Creek fire, the Santiam fire had been 0% contained as of 8:30 that night, The Oregonian stated.
Governor Kate Brown declared a wildfire emergency on September 8 and evacuations were ordered throughout the state. “Governor Kate Brown approved an emergency conflagration declaration for the Beachie Creek, Lionshead, and Holiday Farm Fire. The Beachie Creek and Lionshead Fires were active overnight in the Santiam Canyon. Holiday Farm Fire is active near McKenzie Bridge,” a press release from the governor’s office said.
“Almost every year since becoming Governor, I’ve witnessed historic wildfire seasons,” said Brown, according to the release.
This past weekend, we experienced significant wind that is fueling wildfires with devastating consequences across Oregon, on top of a dire pandemic. For people and families in the evacuation areas, please listen to local calls to evacuate as needed — these lifesaving measures can protect the lives of you and your loved ones, as well as our firefighters. In addition, I am asking all Oregonians to remain vigilant with any activity that could spark a wildfire during this historic wind event. We all need to do our part to help the many firefighters battling multiple fires across Oregon.
Areas in Klamath Falls, Medford, southeastern Oregon and Lane and Lincoln counties are also ablaze, the outlet added.
Here’s what you need to know:
Many Have Taken to Social Media to Document the Insidious & Awe-Inspiring Skies
Many Oregon residents have taken to social media to document the insidious-looking skies.
While some users detailed their awe and fascination with the scarlet skies, others expressed fear.
Below are some of the responses:
The ruby-sky photos also made their way to Reddit.
A snapshot of a tangerine-citrus sky was posted under a September 8 thread with the caption: “Oregon skies are a blood red as a result of the California Fires. This was taken in the middle of the day.”
Twitter photos posted by KPTV show haunting portraits of ruby-red skies in Stayton around 11 in the morning:
KOIN-TV tweeted out footage of the town of Lyons, showcasing burnt-orange skies accompanied by a thick haze.
One Twitter user compared Salem’s imagery to that of planet Mars. The below photo was taken before 5 p.m.
The Oregon Wildfires Have Ravaged More Than 230,000 Acres Combined
KGW8 reported that several wildfires are continuing to burn throughout the Portland metro area and the state.
Brown issued “the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to three major wildfires, which allows the state fire marshal to mobilize resources to assist local firefighters,” the outlet reported.
Multiple evacuation notices have been given, KGW8 continued.
In a recent news conference, the governor attributed the fires’ magnitudes to “winds with 25 mph gusts,” according to The Washington Post.
She also described the natural disasters on Twitter as “unprecedented,” writing:
Listen up: We’re in an unprecedented fire event. Several significant, growing fires across the state continue to spread due to hot, dry weather & high winds. Oregonians’ lives are at risk. Follow evacuation orders, try to reduce your smoke exposure – and take care of each other.
Brown noted in her tweet that the fires have so far ravaged more than 230,000 acres.
As of the morning of September 8, the air quality in Oregon was listed as unhealthy “for sensitive groups,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. You can find more of the EPA’s air quality data here. “People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion,” EPA noted on September 9.
The west coast saw a spike in wildfires across Oregon, parts of Washington and California following Labor Day, Reuters reported.