Ravaged by fires, western United States fears more deaths

Posted today at 03:40, updated at 22:40

More than 20,000 firefighters were fighting, Saturday, September 12, against the flames ravaging the western United States, where the fires have already killed sixteen people this week. The authorities were preparing to deplore “A considerable number of deaths” in the fires that still ravaged the American west coast on Saturday, where President Donald Trump announced that he would go on Monday September 14 in the middle of the campaign for the White House, now marked by the theme of climate change.

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It was impossible to assess the true extent of the destruction – vast areas still inaccessible – caused by these fires, which spread from the border of Canada to that of Mexico, and fueled for days by chronic drought and strong winds. More than a hundred fires were recorded on Friday between Washington State, Oregon and California.

Governor Gavin Newsom signs a bill after visiting a burnt down area near Oroville, Butte County, Calif., On September 11.

In northwestern California, the fire dubbed “August Complex Fire”, an assembly of 37 fires that affected the Mendocino Forest from August 17, officially became the largest in history in this state, with more than 302,000 hectares burned.

In Butte County, northern California, at least ten people have died in the flames, according to the latest relief report. In this region still traumatized by the memory of the fires of November 2018 which claimed the lives of 86 people and reduced the city of Paradise to ashes, dry weather is expected until the end of the week.

A tanker attempts to slow down the Bobcat Fire, north of Monrovia, Los Angeles County, Calif., September 10.
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Two other people were killed in another fire that has ravaged an isolated area near Oregon for several days, a spokeswoman for the California fire department.

A road blocked because of a fire still in progress in Molalla, south of Portland (Oregon), Friday September 11.

The threatened areas concern 500,000 inhabitants in total in Oregon, and a little more than 40,000 people had actually been evacuated Friday at midday, specified the governor Kate Brown. In particular, the emergency services feared that two large fires would meet about fifty kilometers south of Portland, in Clackamas County. The authorities have declared a curfew from 10 p.m. to facilitate the movement of relief workers and evacuees.

In the parking lot of the Oak Park Motel, destroyed by the flames of the Santiam Fire, in Gates, Oregon on September 10.

Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, said that in just three days the flames had consumed 360,000 hectares, double the vegetation that burns on average in a full year. “We are seeing the devastating effects of climate change in Oregon, across the West Coast, and across the world,” she insisted.

Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon, Friday, September 11, as Jackson County rescuers and sheriff members search for a missing elderly resident in a mobile home park.
  • In Washington State

In Seattle, Washington, the pollution created by forest fires worsened on Friday, September 11.

More than 250,000 hectares have gone up in smoke in Washington State, according to Governor Jay Inslee, who also denounced the catastrophic consequences of climate change.

After the Cold Springs fire ravaged an area south of Omak, Wash. On Thursday, September 10.

In this region, the fire season usually lasts until November, raising fears of further violent episodes.


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