Oregon Wildfires: State Hit By Unprecedented Fires

The US state of Oregon is battling record-breaking wildfires, which have destroyed at least five towns.

Three deaths in Oregon have been blamed on the wildfires, with another in neighbouring Washington state, where blazes are also burning.

In California, three people died in a wildfire that has forced thousands from their homes, authorities say.

Fires are raging in nine other western states, according to the National Fire Information Center.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a news conference on Wednesday: “This could be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history.”

The fires are blazing across the state’s valleys and along the coast, causing mass evacuations.

One Oregon evacuee, Jody Evans, told NewsChannel21 about her ordeal.

“Fire on both sides, winds blowing, ash flying – it was like driving through hell,” she said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said on Tuesday that more than double the acreage had been torched in the previous 24 hours than had been burned during all of last year in his state.

The sheriff of Butte County, north-east of San Francisco, said two people had been found dead at one location and a third elsewhere.

One of the three was a motorist who was apparently trying to escape the Bear Fire, police told local media. The Bear Fire has scorched more than 200,000 acres since it began in mid-August.

The latest deaths mean that fires in the state have now killed at least 11 people since last month. More than 2.3m acres have been burned this year in the state.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Draper told the East Bay Times that one of the fatalities discovered on Wednesday was someone who seemed to have been trying to flee the wildfire.

He said investigators believe the unidentified driver had fled his or her car after driving towards a ditch before being overcome by the smoke and flames.

“Somebody was just attempting to flee and it just didn’t work out,” he said.


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