A state of emergency, excessive heat and an extended period of dry weather are unlikely to pair well with an influx of up to 1 million visitors to Oregon in two weeks for the total solar eclipse.
And state wildfire managers are scrambling to prepare. The eclipse’s so-called “path of totality” passes right through the heart of Oregon’s wildfire country. Fire danger in every fire district in Oregon has been listed as ‘High’ or ‘Extreme.’
That’s why the state’s Department of Forestry has requested assistance from Washington’s Department of Natural Resources.
“We help them and they help us and they are very concerned,” Washington’s Fire Operations Chief Aaron Schmidt said. “They’re thinking anywhere from 500,000 to 1.5 million extra folks in Oregon and across the landscape.”
Schmidt said 90 percent of wildfires are human caused.
Reservable campsites on public land in Oregon were snapped up months ago.