The wildfires have left dozens of families devastated and led to poor air quality across the region.
Cody Moss lives in Talent, Oregon, with his pregnant wife and young daughter. However, when they saw smoke in the sky due to the wildfires, they decided to leave their home as a precaution. They drove out of town in one of their two cars with only the clothes on their backs, expecting to come back home later that day. Sadly, they returned to find that their home had been completely burned down—absolutely everything was gone, CNN reports. The experience has been completely traumatizing for them, much like it has been for other residents of Oregon who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
for folks not in Oregon, we are entering our eighth day since a extreme fire storm hit the state, and Portlanders are now on day five of such thick, miserable wildfire smoke that we can’t see the sun, there are no shadows, it’s hazardous to be outdoors or honestly even indoors https://t.co/t1QvloCbiP— amb. 🏘😷 (@ambrown) September 15, 2020
Moss said in an interview with CNN, "If you would have told me weeks ago that I would lose everything, I wouldn't have believed it." The family has since set up a GoFundMe fundraiser in order to rebuild their lives. Thousands of people from across the country have rallied together to donate money while others have sent the daughter toys. The father said, "It is something to lose so much and gain so much love at the same time." Unfortunately, the Moss family is not the only one to have lost much of their homes and livelihoods. Twenty-two people have already been reported missing and at least another 10 have been killed by the fires.
‘I am your wife,’ badly burned woman whispers to man who found her in Oregon wildfire https://t.co/cvsWkYe4oV— The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) September 13, 2020
Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps stated, "If you're concerned for missing family, please report that concern to the local law enforcement entity." He also urged people who are evacuating the area to register themselves with the American Red Cross so people are aware that they are safe. Patti Candell was another Oregonian who evacuated the state to come back and find houses destroyed. She said the whole situation was "just devastating." She came home to feed her animals but found that her horse stable and barn were completely burned down. She explained, "The barn is, well it's back there, you can see just that pile of white stuff. It's there, it's a big, huge 30-by-48 (foot) horse barn, three stalls, and all that fun stuff. And yeah, it was wiped out."
Farmworkers in Oregon this week used N95 masks and their cell phone flashlights to pick cucumbers in the midst of devastating wildfires. Under what conditions must someone be living to go to work in these horrific and dangerous conditions?! 😡 #WhereIsOSHA pic.twitter.com/d34yopSvlP— Angela Stuesse (@astuesse) September 13, 2020
"The flames actually came up to the house on this side of the home and on the back and how it didn't catch on fire is just amazing to us," Candell continued. "It just, I don't know how the fire works, how the wind is." Evidently, the wildfires have left dozens of families devastated and unsure. Not only has the smoke also combined with foggy conditions to decrease visibility, making the jobs of firefighters much more difficult, but it has also led to poor air quality across the region. This calamity is bound to have everlasting effects on the environment; it is time to enact policy that combats climate change now.