The Top Ten Disasters of 2020 - #8 Oregon Wildfires

Wildfire Blog Post TB

Tidal Basin reviews the biggest disasters of the year

Although there were many regional and local disasters around the U.S. this year, Tidal Basin has identified the Top Ten Disasters of 2020, based on those events that were significant due to historical records, the number of people impacted or the estimated financial impact to insured and uninsured property. Similar to conditions in Washington State, Oregon also suffered parched conditions in the Fall of 2020.

#8: The Oregon Wildfires

The Oregon disaster was months in the making and resulted from the lack of rainfall and extreme heat across the Northwest. Over the summer, Oregon officials feared the state would face an extremely intense fire season and began a fire safety campaign warning the public to take precautions to help prevent fires.

Unfortunately, massive fires flared up a few days after Labor Day, with the most intense impacting the Southeast region of the state near Medford. Eleven people died in the fires.  

“We share a collective and deep sorrow over our losses, the loss of lives, the loss of our own homes, the loss of our forests and iconic landscapes. At times it felt overwhelming to have this crisis hit our state in the midst of already a difficult situation with COVID19,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

In October, the state received a Major Disaster Declaration by Presidential which provided much needed relief by the Federal Government.

 “The fires moved as fast as the fire teams could chase them. With eleven fires raging across our state, they were under staffed and under resourced to manage fires of this intensity and manner of progression,” said Brown. 

The Governor said the fires may have destroyed entire communities but the efforts of first responders, fire fighters, and volunteers demonstrated the resilience of Oregon and their ability to recover. “They were focused, motivated, and their actions saved lives,” said the Governor.

Overall, the fires burned over 1.2 million acres, destroyed the communities of Phoenix and Temple, and burned over 4000 buildings to the ground. 

For these historic impacts, Tidal Basin ranks Oregon’s devastating wildfire season number eight on our list of the Top Ten Disasters of 2020.

Stay tuned for #7 on our list of the Top Ten Disasters of 2020

To view what made our Top Ten list so far, click below: