Better weather aids fight against deadly western wildfires

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Low winds and rising humidity helped firefighters battling deadly blasts in Oregon and California, but dozens are still missing, with officials in both states anticipating that receding flames left many more dead in the black landscape Can reveal.

Oregon’s emergency management director said officials were preparing for a possible “mass fatal incident”.

In California, the smoke that painted the sky also helped the crew prevent the deadliest explosion of the year. Officials said the fumes blocked the sun, lowered temperatures and raised humidity.

Nine people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been confirmed dead in California as the fire that started a few weeks ago triggered a monster explosion that destroyed Berry Creek, a small stop in the Sierra Nevada foothills of San Francisco Had given. .

Oregon officials have not released an accurate death count, but at least eight fatal explosions were reported that carried the state from one end to the other. Gov. Kate Brown said on Friday that tens of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes.

Two large blazes threatened to merge near Oregon’s most populous part, including the suburbs of Portland.
More than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and are in various levels of about 500,000 evacuation levels, Brown said, asking to leave or prepare to do so. The governor sent a statement late Thursday evening to the State Emergency Management Office stating that one and a half million people had been ordered to evacuate statewide.
Millions were missing in Jackson County in the state’s southern region and in Marion County, east of the state capital, Salem, Brown reported at a news conference. Authorities also announced that one person was arrested on two counts of arson in a case of arson in southern Oregon.

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The explorers found two victims of the so-called Beechie Creek Fire near Salem. Authorities said a 1-year-old boy died in the woods in Washington.

Efforts on the ground were helped by weather improvements following days of strong winds, heat and low humidity. “The wind was low for us yesterday,” said Stephen Myers of the state’s fire information team.

About 500 firefighters were working on the fire near Portland, which was just a few miles (kilometers) away. The rugged terrain between them limits efforts to limit flames, Myers said. If the fire dissolves, they can generate enough heat to send embers thousands of feet into the air, possibly igniting other areas.

Officials said that more than 1,500 square miles (3,880 square kilometers) have burned in Oregon in recent days, roughly the size of a year and an area larger than Rhode Island.

The amount of the state’s second-worst fire season on burned land in the last five days was after 2015, the Washington government said. He called Blaze a “climate fire” instead of a Wisefire.

“It’s not an act of God,” Inslee said. “This has happened because we have changed the climate.”

Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said a 41-year-old man was jailed on two charges of arson for a fire that began Tuesday in the Phoenix area of ​​southern Oregon. A fire that burned hundreds of homes had an ignition point near an incident site in Ashland, where a man was found dead. Authorities said the man refused to start the fire.

Sickler said officers were working to locate about 50 missing people.

California crews made progress on Friday in chopping brush-free lines or bulldozers to control the North Complex fire. Strong winds that blew the flames the day before, while the smoke blocked the sun and lowered the previously scorching temperatures. High temperatures were expected to go out at 80 degrees or less on Saturday.

About 15,000 firefighters were battling 28 major wildfires in California, although 24 were intercepted on Thursday and quickly absorbed.

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The North complex was the deadliest this year. Butte County Sheriff Corey Honea said 10 bodies were found but that figure was reduced on Friday. He said the remains found in the burnt storage shed originated from a resin model of a human skeleton, used by an anthropology student.

The search for the missing 19 people continues.

Back in Oregon, evacuation centers were open across the state.

Kim Carbo, with her husband, two children and two horses, fled to her home in Lyons on Monday.

“When we were running away and I could see the actual fire, the red and orange flames, the time I didn’t feel scared, I had so much adrenaline – we just had to leave,” she told the livestock stables on Friday at the state fair in Salem. An evacuation center in the ground.

The site also houses hundreds of animals – dogs, lamas, horses, pigs, cows and chickens. Many opted to camp or stay in the RV.

Charles Legg sat down at a table with his 22-month-old son, who cooped up and played with a dinosaur puzzle.
“That’s fine,” Legg said. “He is not eating as normal. He knows something is going on.”

Associated Press writer Gillian Flakus and Manuel Waldes in Phoenix, Oregon; Lisa Bowman and Jean Johnson in Seattle; Brian Melli in Los Angeles; And Terence Chia in Berry Creek, California contributed to this report.