• MLWA 7

VIDEO: Deadly fires burn hundreds of homes in northern West Coast



- Northern West Coast, USA


Deadly windblown wildfires raging across the Pacific Northwest destroyed hundreds of homes in Oregon, the governor said Wednesday, warning it could be the greatest loss of life and property from wildfire in state history.


The blazes from the top of the state to the California border caused highway closures and smoky skies and had firefighers struggling to contain and douse flames fanned by 50 mph (80 kph) wind gusts. Officials in some western Oregon communities gave residents “go now” orders to evacuate, meaning they had minutes to flee their homes. Fires were burning in a large swath of Washington state and Oregon that rarely experiences such intense wildfire activity because of the Pacific Northwest’s cool and wet climate.


Flames trapped firefighters and civilians behind fire lines in Oregon and leveled an entire small town in eastern Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown warned that the devastation could be overwhelming from the fires that exploded Monday during a late-summer wind storm.

“Everyone must be on high alert,” Brown said. The blazes were thought to be extremely destructive around Medford, in southern Oregon, and near the state capital of Salem.
“This could be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” the governor said.

At least three people were killed in Oregon fires and a small child died in blazes in Washington state. Brown said some communities were substantially damaged, with “hundreds of homes lost.”

The precise extent of damage was unclear because so many of t