SALEM, Ore. -

Governor Kitzhaber on Wednesday verbally declared a state of emergency in response to wildfire activity across the state. The emergency declaration enables the Oregon National Guard to mobilize resources on an as-needed basis to assist the Department of Forestry, the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office, and others with firefighting.

"Oregon is facing a severe fire season. Conditions are dry and new fires are starting daily," said Kitzhaber. "This declaration gives the resources and tools we need to respond and protect people, property, and Oregon's natural areas. This crisis is a reminder that each of us has a responsibility to our state to prevent new wildfires." 

In accordance with ORS 401.165, Governor Kitzhaber determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the fires and that the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.

The Oregon National Guard is now authorized to deploy firefighting assets as needed throughout the fire season based on threat and resource shortfalls.