Western wildfires force hundreds out of their homes | Climate News

‘If you don’t leave, you’re dead’, sheriff’s deputies and state soldiers warn residents as the ‘Bootleg’ fire invades.

A fire growing in a dry forest in the western United States has forced hundreds of people from their homes as it burned more than 854sq km (330sq miles) and showed no sign of slowing Wednesday amid a heat wave and dry.

The fire, called “Bootleg,” which spread in the Fremont-Winema National Forest about 400 km (250 miles) south of Portland, Oregon, destroyed 21 homes and threatened 1,926 more, according to a coordination center. interactions of the state of Oregon and Washington in Portland.

After burning for eight days, the fire left a thick fog over nearby Klamath Falls, a picturesque town about 40 km (25 miles) north of the California border, where the local fairgrounds have been transformed into a Red Cross evacuation center.

Tim McCarley, one of the evacuees, told Reuters news agency earlier this week that sheriff’s deputies and state troops presented themselves at his home as “sparks and embers falling “and he said to his family, ‘If you don’t leave, you’re dead.’

“This is my first fire and I’ll tell you, it’s scary,” said another evacuated resident, Sarah Kose.

The Bootleg fire shines in the distance as an army of firefighters works in hot, dry, windy weather to contain Western fires. [Nathan Howard/AP Photo]

“You don’t know if you’re going to be the one who loses your house, or you’re sitting there and watching your neighbor lose his house, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The Bootleg fire is the largest of several wildfires burning parts of the western United States, where a drought and a heat wave of logging have left brushes and wood highly flammable.

Climate change it has made the American West much hotter and drier in the last 30 years and will continue to make the climate more extreme and fires more frequent and destructive. The hot and dry climate from Canada to Mexico is drainage basins, threatening crops and livestock and predicting a potential future water crisis, experts said.

In all, 60 large fires have consumed more than 404,680 hectares (one million hectares) in 12 U.S. states this season, according to the National Interactive Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a firefighting group that includes 8 U.S. agencies.

Fierce fires in the Pacific Northwest threaten Native American lands where tribes are already struggling to conserve water and preserve traditional hunting grounds.

In north central Washington, hundreds of people in the town of Nespelem on the tribal land of Colville have been ordered to leave because of an “imminent and life-threatening” danger that the largest of five fires caused. by dozens of lightnings on July 12 he tore off the grass, sagebrush, and wood.

Seven houses were burned and the entire city was evacuated safely before the fire broke out, said Andrew Joseph Jr., president of the Confederate Tribes of the Colville Reserve, which includes more than 9,000 descendants of a dozen tribes.

Earlier this week, flames burning along a high-voltage corridor connecting Oregon’s power grid with California reduced power supply, prompting the agency managing California’s power grid to emit electricity conservation notices.

Last year, late-summer forest fires, fueled by strong winds and hot, dry terrain, killed more than three dozen people and burned more than 4.1 million hectares (10.2 million hectares) in California, Oregon and Washington.

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