Since Monday, 11 people have died due to fires in California, four lost their lives in Oregon and one child in Washington state lost his life. Residents in Oregon were asked to be ready to leave. About 100 wildfires in the US, West have engulfed an area nearly as large as New Jersey, belching out smoke that has given California, Oregon and Washington some of the worst air quality levels anywhere around the globe, a Reuters report reads.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said that hundreds of homes in the state have burned down. "Winds continue to feed these fires and push them into our towns and cities,” Brown was quoted as saying in a CNN report. She also said that a drop in winds, higher moisture levels and forecast rain were expected to help firefighters in towns like Molalla.
“The weather is going to be favourable for us,” said Doug Grafe, chief of fire protection for the Oregon Department of Forestry.
According to emergency management officials, 470,000 acres across the West coast is burning.
A total of 24 lives have been lost in the West Coast fires that began in August. In California alone, 3,900 homes and other buildings have burned. More than 3,000 firefighters are fighting more than three dozen blazes on the West coast. But officials say more firefighters are needed to subdue the blazes.
A criminal arson investigation has been opened against one fire in Oregon, which started in Ashland near the border with California and incinerated several hundred homes in adjacent communities along Bear Creek, Ashland.