Minnesota Governor authorizes sending 29 Minnesota firefighters, 9 trucks to Oregon wildfires

O'BRIEN, OR - AUGUST 4: Flames rip through the Siskiyou National Forest after Hot Shot fire crews lit a burnout fire August 4, 2002 in O'Brien, Oregon. Fire Crews continue to light burnout fires to try and stop a188,000 acre fire in the Siskiyou Nati

29 Minnesota firefighters and nine trucks will head to the front lines of wildfires raging in the state of Oregon Tuesday.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office announced that two teams from seven fire departments in Minnesota were requested in an effort to regain control of the fires.

Gov. Tim Walz authorized the mission Monday.

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as destructive wildfires roar across the West Coast, and many of them could end up in shelters, raising potential health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.

The shelters' impact on public health is “an unusually important and under-researched topic,” said Karl Kim, executive director of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, which trains first responders. “People are really scrambling right now to figure out how this affects the guidance and messaging and so forth.”

TOPSHOT - Marcelino Maceda looks for items in the remains of his mobile home after a wildfire swept through the R.V. park destroying multiple homes in Estacada, Oregon September 12, 2020. - US officials girded today for the possibility of mass fatali

The fires in California, Oregon and Washington state have killed several people and left dozens missing. In the three states, 6,300 are already in emergency Red Cross shelters and hotels and as many as 50,000 more could be before the blazes are under control, said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.