Nearly a million acres of Oregon has burned in the last three days—double the state’s annual average of acres lost to wildfires. While WAC organizes to supply emergency aid to those who have fled or lost their homes, we emphasize that this catastrophe is evidence of our societal failure to protect our natural environment. Since the late 1980s, the reality of radical global climate change has been consistently downplayed or entirely denied by the U.S. government. These enormous fires are the inevitable outcome of a perverse economic structure that peddles lies to enable corporate profiteering at the expense of the planet’s ecological integrity. Indigenous peoples have lived across North America since time immemorial, and these unprecedented fires are further proof that restoring land to Indigenous sovereignty and stewardship is imperative for all our survival. We must dismantle the capitalist system that knowingly spent decades creating the conditions killing us today! We must stand in solidarity with all people as our climate crisis worsens! We must create a system that values the health of humanity and the global ecology!
During the Oregon wildfire crisis of 2020, Willamette Action Collective ran a campaign to distribute funds and supplies to communities across Oregon that were displaced by the fires. In the first eight days of wildfire relief response actions, the Eugene team ran a four-day donation drop site out of the Hilyard Community Center, the Salem and Portland teams garnered donations and worked to organize in tandem with like-teams, and large and small scale supply drops were made to all three major crises areas in the state, to organizations that directly support marginalized and displaced communities.