976 square kilometers are ablaze in southern Oregon – that’s larger than the size of New York City. Increasing wildfires have forced firefighters in the US state to retreat. Southern Oregon has been on fire for more than a week and has declared the fifth largest fire in more than a century.
The blaze, known as illegal fires, is the largest of dozens of wildfires burning in the extremely arid landscapes of the western United States. More than 1,900 firefighters and dozens of helicopters, firefighting aircraft and excavators are working against the flames.
record of destruction
So far, 21 homes and 54 other buildings have fallen victim to the fires. The Oregon Forest Service has announced that 5,000 more are threatened. “The massive fire has forced 2,000 people to leave their homes,” said Holly Creek Fire Department spokeswoman. The flame front has a length of 322 kilometers.
Fire cloud from a “bootleg” fire: up to ten kilometers high
Another extreme heat wave is expected in the region this weekend, the fourth since early June. Hell slowed the fire service’s speed for a week with unexpected winds and high-risk fire behavior – including clouds of threatening flames forming from frenetic air and rising up to ten kilometers above the fire zone. “We expect these conditions to continue and worsen into the end of the week,” said Creek Fire Department spokeswoman.
Scientists attribute the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires to persistent drought and excessive heat that are symptoms of climate change. This has made the western United States warmer and drier over the past 30 years.
AR / Haz (rtr, ap)
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