Oregon was hit with a devastating wildfire that burnt through several houses and cut off 911 services, fire department officials were unable to reach them at first due to the unsafe conditions.
Officials aren’t sure yet what caused the wildfire, but suspect it originated from a private illegal marijuana farm – combined with the hot weather and gusty wind. People were evacuated and sent to shelters, as of right now there is still one open.
Bonanza, Oregon community lost several infrastructures, homes, and outbuildings from the fire with the optic line being severely damaged in the process. Residents were unable to access internet and phone services, preventing 911 calls as well.
Oregon Wildfire Burns Through
Fire crews were unable to reach them at first due to the conditions, but some have managed to partially contain the fire by around 9%. However, they aren’t sure it would be enough as the climate and weather could cause it to continue growing instead.
Emergency officials and agencies have been working together to restore connections, they set up temporary internet towers in the meantime – and 911 calls were being rerouted. At the same time, utility companies and crews are working on repairing damaged buildings.
The state’s Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Laura Gleim commented that air quality has been unhealthy and dangerous, it either becomes better or worse depending on the time. The quality was affected due to the Bedrock Fire and Flat Fire.
Gleim adds smoke levels also vary, issuing that outdoor activities will be ill-advised and certain individuals can get sick in the process. Due to this, an air quality advisory was in effect through Wednesday night.
Some evacuations were lifted, but many don’t have any housing to live in – prompting them to temporarily stay in the shelter as they wait for repairs to finish. Commander Matt Howard expresses how heartbreaking and devastating this wildfire was to the community.
Source: Associated Press