Support Oregonians Impacted by Wildfires

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Volunteers in Portland load vans of supplies for Oregonians impacted by wildfires (9/14/20)

Our hearts are heavy with the enormous loss and destruction Oregon and other Western states have endured this past week from devastating wildfires. Unhealthy air from wildfire smoke continues to blanket our region. The cities of Talent and Phoenix in the Rogue Valley have been decimated, including the main offices of our valued partner, Rogue Climate. Communities in Clackamas County, Marion County, Lane County, and Jackson County have been displaced and are in urgent need of support. Meanwhile, intense hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and typhoons in Japan confirm that climate chaos is upon us.

Please learn more and take adequate precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the health impacts of wildfire. Here are some ways you can help communities in need:

We know that climate change plays a major role in these more intense fires: hotter, drier conditions driven by a warming planet lead to fast and furious blazes like the ones we’ve been experiencing. We also know that the Indigenous peoples of the West knew that controlled burns and coexisting with fires helped to reduce destruction to human beings in pre-colonial times. Industrial logging is not the answer: old-growth trees are more resilient to fires and backcountry tree thinning does not help protect public health and safety from wildfire impacts.

We also know that six of Oregon National Guard’s largest helicopters are unavailable to fight the fires as they are currently deployed to support the US military campaign in Afghanistan. It’s time to reprioritize how our resources are spent to protect the health and safety of our communities. We need a Green New Deal for our forests that protects our greatest carbon reserves, invests in community protections against destructive fires, and keeps fossil fuels in the ground to mitigate climate change.

Please take care of yourself, wear a well-fitting respirator or N95 mask if you must spend any amount of time outdoors, and share opportunities to support impacted communities widely.