Firefighters rescue US west coast as wildfires creep towards neighbourhoods

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The Sun1.08M
Published on 18 Sep 2020, 16:10
WILDFIRES ravish US west coast leaving more than 5 million acres in Oregon, California and Washington state ablaze since August, laying waste to several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 35 people.

The region's increasingly dry and overgrown forests have become large-scale tinderboxes over decades, while wildfires have become more frequent, more intense and more deadly.

The US West Coast generally experienced a relatively dry winter, leaving forests particularly desiccated and vulnerable to the extreme heat that materialized in August. Dry, gusty winds, known as Santa Ana in Southern California and Diablo in Northern California, contributed to the fires' rapid spread.

President Donald Trump blames poor forest management in California, Oregon and Washington state - mainly a failure to cull overgrown forests - for the increasing number and intensity of fires and makes comparisons with how Europe manage their forests.

Nine of the 10 most destructive fires in California have happened in the last decade, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) despite modern forest management techniques aimed at mitigating fire risk.

Read more
Dad doesn’t recognize severely burned woman until she pleaded ‘I’m your wife’ – and then finds son killed by wildfires
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