Latest: Red flag warning issued for southwest Oregon

The Latest on wildfires in the U.S. West (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

SALEM, Ore. — The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for southwest Oregon on Sunday, citing dry weather and “strong gusty” winds.

The weather service said that the wind, humidity and fire danger will “likely contribute to a significant spread of new and existing fires.”

Gusts of wind are expected to reach up to 40 mph (64 kph).

The warning is in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday

___

11 a.m.

SALEM, Ore. — People in central and northeast Oregon, including in Eugene, Portland and Salem, continued to face hazardous air quality Sunday.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported Air Quality Index numbers that were off the chart.

Air Quality Index is considered hazardous between 301 and 500. Portland’s index is currently at 426.

Values above 500 — which two cities, Madras and Roseburg both reported having — are beyond the index’s scale.

Officials advised people to stay indoors and that the low visibility, caused by fog and smoke, is creating hazardous driving conditions.

In Salem, where the Air Quality Index is 394, a dense smokey haze that clouded roads and homes made it difficult to see further than 50 yards ahead.

The National Weather Service in Portland reported that rain is expected Monday night, which could help clear smoke in Oregon next week.

___

10:55 a.m.

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters in California are bracing for a shift in weather that could bring stronger winds Monday and stoke dozens of fires still raging across the state.

Red flag warnings are already in place because of gusty winds and low humidity across Northern California, adding urgency to the battle against more than two dozen fires across the state.

More than 16,750 firefighters were doing battle with fires that have already killed 22 people, destroyed more than 4,100 structures and engulfed scores of communities from the Oregon border to Mexico.

The city of Arcadia, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, ordered the residents of one neighborhood to evacuate as the 29,000-acre Bobcat Fire continued to grow over the weekend. Evacuation orders were also in place in many parts of the state.

The fires on the West Coast have been among the worst ever recorded.

___

8:30 a.m.

MEDFORD, Ore. — Authorities say almost all of the people listed as missing from a deadly wildfire in southern Oregon have been accounted for.

Late Saturday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office said that four people had died in the Almeda Fire that burned in the Ashland area.

Authorities earlier this week said as many as 50 people could be missing from the blaze, but now say the number of people unaccounted for is down to one.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement that the number could fluctuate.

At least 10 people were killed in wildfires that burned the past week throughout Oregon. Officials have said more people are missing from other blazes and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.

Categories: National & International News