Forest fires off the west coast of the United States have swallowed five villages in Oregon, according to Reuters.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said forest fires may have claimed many lives in the villages.
At least Santiam Valley’s Detroit, Lane Country’s Blue River and Vida, and Phoenix and Talent in southern Oregon have been reported to have been destroyed to a significant degree.
“This may be the largest loss of human life and property due to forest fires in the history of our state,” he said.
House destroyed by fire at McKenzie Bridge in Oregon on Wednesday.
Hundreds if not thousands have lost their homes in forest fires.Photo: Tyee Burwell / AFP / Lehtikuva
Rescue troops have pulled people to safety from rivers where people have jumped to escape the flames.
- It was like driving through hell, Jody Evans, who was evacuated from Detroit, told a local news channel describing the burning forest.
In Oregon, forest fires are known to have killed a boy of at least 12 years old and his grandmother in Santiam Valley, one human near Ashland, and a 1-year-old toddler in Okanogan County.
Forest fires have stained the sky red-orange and filled the air with smoke in Salem, Oregon. Photo: ZAK STONE / Reuters
In California, the situation is bad
The fires have spread to Oregon from its southern neighbor, California, where at least 64,000 people have been evacuated from the fires.
On Wednesday, three people in Northern California were reported to have died from the fires.
A total of 11 people have died in California this year due to forest fires.
Since mid-August, more than 200,000 acres of forest have been burned in Northern California.
In recent days, the rate of destruction has been rapid.
Strong winds have contributed to the devastation.
According to researchers, climate change has increased extreme conditions on the west coast during both dry and wet seasons.
Vegetation is even more abundant, so there is more material in nature for forest fires.
- This forest fire is burning at an explosive pace.
With added winds, dry conditions, and hot temperatures, the recipe is perfect, Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California State Rescue Service, said.
NASA satellite image of Oregon fires. Image: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES / Reuters
Korona has also changed the evacuation.
Leanna Mikesler told Reuters she had previously been evacuated from her home in the California mountains of Clovis, but that the epidemic made everything “10 times harder”.
Previously evacuees have been accommodated on school premises, but this time they are staying in subsidized hotel rooms.
Red Cross volunteers bring food to hotels, and the organization’s volunteers do a great job of getting through the hotels compared to the former.