DISASTERS
Half a million people flee dozens of infernos
BY JORDI BOU

September 11, 2020 – Fanned by unusually hot, dry winds, dozens of fires are sweeping Oregon, Washington State and California, destroying hundreds of homes, leaving dozens of people dead and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.

The number of people evacuated in Oregon because of fires rose to an estimated 500,000 – more than 10 percent of the state’s 4.2 million people.

One of the most destructive blazes, the Almeda Fire, which started in Ashland near the California border, is being treated as suspicious. It has been linked to at least two deaths and destroyed hundreds of homes in the towns of Phoenix and Talent.

The August Complex is now the largest fire on record in California history, having scorched more than 198,000 hectares (490,000 acres).

Across California, more than 2.3m acres have burnt — by far surpassing the 1.9m burnt during the course of 2018’s deadly season — with still more than a month of the state’s typical fire season remaining. The earlier fires were created by lighting storms last month.

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