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.
We’re on fire here in Oregon. Red skies all day and everything is covered with ash. I’m so sad and slightly panicked. 🌲🙏🏻
— Janine Lindemulder (@msjaninelinde) September 9, 2020
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
— KATU News (@KATUNews) September 8, 2020
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:
This was Oregon. At noon. No filter, just the state ablaze. Hot embers the size of marbles were falling from the sky. pic.twitter.com/UzGJFlBknr
— Care (@carolinsker) September 9, 2020
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:
Insane skies right now in Stayton, Oregon. 🤯 Crazy these images aren’t from the early morning or late at night… this is the view at 11 am. #Oregon #Stayton #Wildfire #OrWx #Pnw #Fire #haze #news @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/kL7GePmjTX
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) September 8, 2020
KOIN-TV tweeted out footage of the town of Lyons, showcasing burnt-orange skies accompanied by a thick haze.
Just entered the town of Lyons.. it’s still here. Heading toward mill city pic.twitter.com/a8Hotd1yiV
— Wayne Havrelly (@Havrelly) September 8, 2020
Another heart-sinking video. This is from Dillon Zwicker. He took the video while driving through Mehama. He’s driving by Gene’s Meat Market, which has burned to the ground. #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/sXDlTMJMnt
— Genevieve Reaume (@GenevieveReaume) September 9, 2020
This is an unedited photo of the sky near Salem Oregon at around 7 pm today. pic.twitter.com/SayT87BDY2
— RyanToh911 (@RyanToh911) September 9, 2020
RED SKIES, SMALL TOWN IN OREGON, 12:22PM PT TODAY!pic.twitter.com/sVWW4eH7Dq
— iammix 🔔 (@iammix24) September 9, 2020
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) September 8, 2020
One Twitter user compared Salem’s imagery to that of planet Mars. The below photo was taken before 5 p.m.
Salem, Oregon looking like mars at 4:30pm today pic.twitter.com/hUuBCrMDpI
— John Notarianni (@jnot) September 8, 2020
The Oregon Wildfires Have Ravaged More Than 230,000 Acres Combined
Oregon is waking up to several #wildfires all around the state. We are seeing multiple areas with heavy smoke, down power lines, road debris, & road closures.
— Oregon State Police (@ORStatePolice) September 8, 2020
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.