West Coast grapples with world's worst air quality as deadly wildfires rage

Embers light up a hillside as it glows bright orange behind the Bidwell Bar Bridge

For the third day in a row, Governor Kate Brown will be giving a 1 pm press conference to provide updates on the current state of OR wildfires and the progress being made to contain them. The wildfire broke out August 16 in Santiam Canyon and has killed two people.

More than 1 million hectares had been burned across the whole state so far, a Cal Fire spokesman said on Thursday.

In California, at least 14,000 firefighters were one the front lines Friday battling 28 active wildfires that have scorched a combined 3.1 million acres - an area larger than CT.

More than 4,800 square miles (12,500 square kilometers) have burned so far this year - more land than Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington, D.C., combined - and fall is typically the worst season for fires.

"We have never seen this amount of uncontained fire across our state", she said.

Huge wildfires are becoming more common, with the World Meteorological Organization saying the five years to 2019 was "unprecedented" for fires, especially in Europe and North America.

Police went door to door to make sure that residents were evacuating the city of Molalla, marking their driveways with spray paint to show that they had left.

The complex of fires is responsible for 10 deaths, making it the most deadly blaze in the state.

On Thursday, Butte County sheriff's Capt. Derek Bell said seven bodies were discovered, boosting the death toll to 10 in two days.

At least 25 people have been killed this year in the fires, including 17 just this week.

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Tina Rose, 29, who fled her home in central California, described witnessing a nearby mountain "glowing red" from looming wildfires.

"It is something we never want to experience again", she told AFP, speaking from her brother-in-law's crowded home near Fresno.

San Francisco resident Mila Zinkova who snapped one image of San Francisco's Martian like state.

Polluted air meant schools and daycare centers were no longer letting children play outside, while seniors were encouraged to stay inside.

In most parts of the state, red flag warnings of extreme fire danger because of hot, dry weather or gusty winds were lifted.

Humidity is expected to rise as temperatures cool through to next week, providing some relief, Cal Fire said.

Asked whether Portland's metro areas might be evacuated, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz Temple said everything would depend on wind direction and force.

"This allows fire managers to quickly mobilise firefighting resources and personnel, and aids with post-fire burn severity mapping to allow rapid rehabilitation and recovery operations to occur on the most critical ecosystem-affected areas".

About a third of those evacuees were displaced in Butte County alone, north of Sacramento, the capital, where the North Complex wildfire has scorched more than 247,000 acres and destroyed over 2,000 homes and structures. CA can not do this alone. "We do not have time to deny the reality of climate change", he tweeted Tuesday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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