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Oregon governor invokes emergency act, authorities order evacuations amid 4,700-acre wildfire

Governor Kate Brown (D-Oregon) invoked the state’s Emergency Conflagration Act on Saturday after a massive fire erupted in southwest Oregon.

The Rum Creek Fire poses a “threat to life, safety, and property,” according to Brown’s declaration, qualifying for additional resources provided by the state.

“It is important for all Oregonians to be prepared, follow all evacuation orders, and continue to follow local and statewide fire prevention regulations to keep our communities safe and our natural resources protected,” Brown said in the statement.

Under the Act, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) can now be dispatched to work with the state’s Department of Forestry (ODF) in fighting the fire, a threat which “exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.”

The fire, which is near Galice in Josephine County, has reached 4,700 acres in size, according to the governor’s office.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office put into effect Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 evacuation warnings for homes near the Rum Creek Fire.

“OSFM is mobilizing 4 task forces and an IMT to the #RumCreekFire,” the Oregon OSFM tweeted Saturday.

“Our resources will be there to protect life and structures. We will be in unified command with ODF & the federal resources in place.”

“This is a good reminder that conditions can change quickly, and that fire knows no bounds,” Brown said.

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This story was originally published August 27, 2022 3:29 PM.

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