The west coast of the United States is in an apocalyptic state this week, as wildfires continue to rage throughout a number of locales.
The first and most severe fires began in California, where wildfires aren’t terribly uncommon. This year, however, the smothering blazes have arrived early, several weeks before the traditional fire season begins. It will be just a matter of weeks before even drier conditions couple with steady winds to intensify the already-devastating situation.
As these infernos spread, Oregon is now suffering mightily, with 10% of the entire state’s population now affected.
Authorities in Oregon now say more than 500,000 people statewide have been forced to evacuate 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.
Eerie photos from Oregon depict an apocalyptic scene.
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 11, 2020
An estimated 500,000 people in Oregon have evacuated as a result of the wildfires burning hundreds of thousands of acres across the state, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. https://t.co/BFalhmzNPJ
— ABC News (@ABC) September 11, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the west coast.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.