Yesterday, I made the point that California is fleeing wildfires, and some of these people to other states as part of a large migration, since political conditions as well as climate change (in the non-political sense) cause people to settle into different areas. I noted how this would have major impacts on politics as well as the development of many states including but certainly not limited to Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Now this trend is not just limited to California, so it seems, as according to AP News, ten percent of the state of Oregon has been forced to flee because of wildfires.
The latest figures from Thursday evening come from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. That’s over 10% of the state’s 4.2 million population.
More than 1,400 square miles (3,625 square kilometers) have burned this week in the state. Authorities say the wildfire activity was particularly acute Thursday afternoon in northwestern Oregon as hot, windy conditions continued.
At a news conference Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown said there have been fatalities but the exact number is not yet known. There have been at least three reported fire deaths in the state. (source)
Ten percent is a huge number. This cannot but have a political impact in the same way that a migration from California also will do in the same way.
Environmental and human changes to an area causing people to flee is not unique. One can see this in the Sahel region, where horrible violence and now environmental disasters are potentially indicating another wave of migration to Europe. Prior to this, there were successive waves of migrants from eastern and central Africa, fleeing political instability, a miserable economy, and looking for the hope of a better life in a foreign land.
What will the impact, if any, will there be as a result of this fire in Oregon? It is too early to say right now, but what we can say is that it is likely that something will happen because major events often, like the ripples of a rock having been thrown into a pond, effects that one cannot see until later on once they are in full motion.