The wildfires on the West Coast of the US are now responsible for the destruction of over 4.7 million acres and at least 34 deaths. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are at least 87 wildfires burning across 11 states. In addition to the massive loss of forestland and structures, the fires are bringing hazardous air quality to the entire region.
Poor Air Quality Continues to Force Residents Indoors: According to the quality monitoring organization IQAir, the air across the western swath of the US is now the worst in the world. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee referred to the air across the state as oppressive. The wildfires raging across the Evergreen State have led to the most dangerous air quality conditions since Washington began monitoring this index almost two decades ago.Read More »
34 Dead and Dozens More Missing: The fires are the culprits for at least 34 deaths up and down the West Coast. 25 of these fatalities occurred in California, eight in Oregon, and one in Washington state. According to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, California’s North Complex Fire is responsible for at least seven victims, ranging in age from 16 to 17.
At least 16 people are reported to be missing in Oregon. The state’s emergency management service is urging those who are evacuating their homes to register with the American Red Cross so that officials can keep track and keep loved ones informed.
Updates on California’s Biggest Blazes: Across California, there are more than 17,000 firefighters going to battle against 25 major fires. The North Complex Fire in Plumas County is now 36% contained after already consuming over 273,000 acres. Tehama County’s massive August Complex Fire has scorched at least 817,000 acres and is at 30% containment. Officials in Humboldt County in Northern California have a bigger fire on their hands as the Red Salmon Complex Fire has now burned over 95,000 acres and is 17% contained. Firefighters are making progress on Monterey County’s Dolan Fire. The blaze has now burned over 122,000 acres but is 40% contained.
New Evacuations for Parts of Oregon: Firefighters in Oregon have turned their focus to Lake County’s Brattain Fire. Deteriorating weather conditions make this blaze particularly susceptible to rapid growth throughout the day Wednesday. New evacuations were issued on Tuesday because of the growing concern. Erratic winds have contributed to this fire exploding in growth, now consuming well over 40,000 acres. With a population of 270, the town of Paisley is now under a mandatory evacuation order.
The good news is that firefighters are gaining some control over the Beachie Creek Fire, located in the Santiam Canyon. As of Wednesday morning, this fire has burned 191,000 acres and is 20% contained. The nearby Riverside Fire is now 3% contained while it has burned through over 135,000 acres.
In Lane County, the Holiday Farm fire has destroyed the area of Blue River, home to about 800 people. This blaze experienced a small amount of growth on Tuesday, now covering approximately 168,000 acres with 8% containment. Higher levels of humidity is being credited with helping to stymie the growth of some of these fires across Oregon.
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