Oregon authorities have announced that more than 500,000 residents statewide have been forced to evacuate their homes as of Thursday evening, September 10, amid ongoing wildfires across the state. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management reported the figures, noting that the number equates to more than ten percent of the state's 4.2 million population. As of 17:30 (local time) on Thursday, more than 1,400 square miles (3,625 square kilometers) have burned over the past week across the state. Governor Kate Brown has said that an exact figure of the number of associated fatalities from the fires is not yet known, however, there have been at least three reported fire deaths in the state. The State Emergency Coordination Center has an online map showing fires and evacuations located here.
One of the most destructive blazes, the Almeda Fire, which started in Ashland near the border with California, is being treated by police as suspicious. It has been linked to at least two deaths and destroyed hundreds of homes in the towns of Phoenix and Talent.
Further spread of the fires is expected in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Those in the vicinity of the fires are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, anticipate possible transport disruption due to firefighting operations and road closures, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders.
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