Gov. declares state of emergency in SW Oregon for wildfires

Gov. declares state of emergency in SW Oregon for wildfires

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by Associated Press & kgw.com Staff

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 6:50 AM

PORTLAND -- Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared a state of emergency for Josephine and Douglas counties as firefighters tackle the Douglas Complex wildfires.

State officials say the declaration authorizes the National Guard to assist firefighting efforts. On Saturday, Kitzhaber invoked the Conflagration Act, meaning fire agencies can be dispatched to protect buildings.

No structures have been destroyed by the lightning-sparked blazes, but about 400 homes are threatened. More than 100 have received evacuation notices.

Air quality remains a concern and the forecast calls for the possibility of lightning on Wednesday.

More than 1,200 firefighters and support staff are battling the fires that have burned almost 21,400 acres and are 5 percent contained. Other major fires in southwest Oregon are burning east of Tiller and near the Illinois River community of Oak Flat.

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