The total solar eclipse is less than three weeks away, which means Oregon’s state agencies are ramping up in preparation.
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden spoke with fire officials on Friday about the logistics and plans for the influx of people and the dangers that come with it.
Wyden’s takeaway was the fire danger should be a big concern for all Oregonians.
One million people are expected to visit Oregon for the once in a lifetime experience on Aug. 21. They’ll be camping and coming together by the thousands in natural settings—at the height of wildfire season.
The campfires, smoking, drinking, and possible fireworks all add up to big risks.
Oregon is no stranger to wildfires. The exact week the total solar eclipse will hit Oregon this year was a wildfire nightmare for Central Oregon last year. That week was in the middle of when 14 wildfires broke out in just three weeks, all of them human-caused.
Given the influx of people and timing of the eclipse, Wyden stressed that communicating a safety message to a massive amount of people is key.
“The point I was trying to convey about how urgent it is to use those last few days before the 21st to get people the most immediate practical information to protect themselves. I felt they understood the urgency I was conveying,” he said.
And to that end, there will be an increase of fires safety public service announcements on TV, radio, and highway reader boards in the coming weeks.