Governor Brown Issued Proclamation Marking 9/7 as Day of Remembrance for Wildfires that Devastated Oregon Communities after Labor Day Weekend of 2020
While the Almeda, South Obenchain, and Slater fires of southern Oregon and northern California flared to life on September 8, some of the fires including the Holiday Farm Fire that would eventually march through several western Oregon communities were already burning prior to that day. The historic winds that lashed the region on September 8th ultimately fueled much of the destruction.
Governor Brown released the following statement to accompany her proclamation:
“Today marks one year since a severe windstorm fueled the catastrophic Labor Day wildfires that tore through Oregon communities, causing historic destruction and displacing thousands of families.
“I want to acknowledge that this anniversary is traumatizing for so many Oregonians, especially as we continue to rebuild while facing even more wildfires this season. Wildfire survivors have experienced exceptional stresses and trauma over the last year, including the added challenges brought on by COVID-19.
“As is the Oregon way, we are stronger when we stand together. I want to thank all the dedicated Oregonians — the firefighters, local emergency managers, Red Cross volunteers, neighbors, community-based organizations, and many more — who helped with response efforts and are now focused on recovery. I remain committed to building back better and stronger — by engaging communities, rebuilding in an equitable way, and building more fire-resistant communities.
“As we reflect on the past year and continue to recover and rebuild, we must also prepare for the next disaster. As part of National Preparedness Month, I’m calling on Oregonians to ‘honor with action’ by taking simple steps to stay informed and be better prepared, such as signing up for emergency alerts, reviewing community evacuation routes, or talking with a neighbor who may need some extra help during an emergency.
“Because if we learned anything this past year, a disaster can happen at any moment. Whether that be public health, wildfire, severe winter storms, or extreme heat. By taking steps to be better prepared, together we can build stronger, more resilient communities.”