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'We are now entering a new phase of this fight': Gov. Brown gives update on Oregon wildfires

At least nine people are dead, five people are missing and thousands of homes are destroyed.
Credit: KGW
Oregon Governor Kate Brown

PORTLAND, Ore — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday said crews have made "significant progress" on many of the wildfires burning around Oregon.

"With frontal winds bringing widespread moisture across the state, we are now entering a new phase of this fight," Brown said.

At least nine people are dead, five people are missing and thousands of homes are destroyed after a historic wind event fueled wildfires around Oregon earlier this month. More than 1 million acres have burned, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

RELATED: Oregon wildfires: 9 people dead, more than 2,200 homes destroyed

Despite the loss of homes and forests, Brown said the loss of life in Oregon has been much less than expected.

Seven major fires are still burning, including the Riverside, Beachie Creek, Lionshead, Holiday Farm, Archie Creek and Slater fires. The fires range in containment from 13% to upwards of 38%, which Brown said gives our fire teams confidence that we've turned a corner.

"Three of the big fires, Obenchain, Brattain and the 242 Fire are contained to the point that we are returning the fire response back to the local district. This is really good news," Brown said.

More than 4,200 Oregonians have applied for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and more than $7 million in aid has been approved.

As Oregon pivots from disaster response to recovery, Brown said the months ahead will be challenging for many.

"I will fight for every tool and resource to help Oregonians rebuild," Brown said.

Brown toured the damage from the Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon on Monday. She said her priority was to secure resources necessary to help rebuild an "even stronger Southern Oregon."

RELATED: 'This community will rebuild': Gov. Brown tours Almeda Fire damage in Southern Oregon