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As of Sept. 13, 2020, fires have been raging in Oregon, California and Washington for three weeks, burning millions of acres of land and destroying thousands of homes.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. According to officials, the fires have now scorched an area of land the size of New Jersey.
In Oregon, where firefighters are battling 16 large blazes, 40,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders. Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) says the fires have killed 10 people, but officials warn the final death toll could be much higher.
In Washington state, firefighters are tackling 15 large fires. A one-year-old boy died as his family tried to escape a blaze. His parents remain in critical condition.
As for CA, Governor Gavin Newsom told reporters on Friday, September 11th when inspecting damage from a fire near Oroville in Northern CA: “This is a climate damn emergency. This is real and it’s happening.”
The North Complex Fire has been burning since August 18 and is among the deadliest in history. Twelve bodies have been found so far, with people still missing.
California has seen at least 22 deaths in total from fires since 15 August. Tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders; 14,800 firefighters continue to combat 28 major fires in the state.
Hours after sunrise, dawn remained something of an oversight. At high noon, the heavens grew darker instead of lighter.