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Oregon prepares for 'mass fatality incident' as fires continue to ravage West Coast
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Oregon prepares for 'mass fatality incident' as fires continue to ravage West Coast

"There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn't get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety," Andrew Phelps said.

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Officials in Oregon are preparing for a "mass fatality incident" as deadly wildfires continued to burn, the state's emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, warned late Friday as firefighters continued to battle massive blazes.

"There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn't get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety," Phelps told MSNBC.

Thousands of structures have been destroyed, he said, adding that officials were "preparing for a mass fatality incident."

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In Oregon, 36 fires have charred 863,794 acres, according to state data Friday. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes, and at least eight people have died since late August because of the fires, according to an NBC News count.