- Blazes are spreading in California, Oregon and Washington – killing at least seven and leaving dozens missing
- Wyatt Tofte, 12, and his grandmother Peggy Mosso, died in a wildfire near the Santiam Valley in Oregon
- In California, at least three deaths have been reported with three in the Bear Fire near Sacramento
- In Washington state a one-year-old boy was killed and his parents were severely burned
- An orange glow appeared over the San Francisco skyline on Wednesday caused by the raging fires
- The fires have been fueled by a devastating heat wave and high winds on the drought-stricken West Coast
- Barack Obama tweeted about the fires Wednesday, saying the effects of climate change are clearer than ever
Dramatic aerial images captured the massive destruction wrought by wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington which have killed at least seven people including a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother.
Ninety major fires across 13 western states have already burned more than 3.4 million acres – the size of Connecticut – and are still spreading in high winds amid fears that the number of casualties will rise.
‘This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,’ Oregon Gov Kate Brown told a press conference.
Entire communities have been razed with five towns ‘substantially destroyed’ and widespread evacuations taking place under apocalyptic orange skies.
Only ‘smoldering ruins’ remained of large parts of the town of Talent, Oregon, said local resident Sandra Spelliscy.
‘There are numerous neighborhoods where there are no structures left standing… dozens of homes [gone] and literally nothing except the skeletons of a chimney or an appliance,’ she said.
Twelve-year-old Wyatt Tofte and his grandmother Peggy Mosso died in a blaze in the Santiam Valley community of Lyons, about 50 miles south of Portland. The boy’s mother is currently in hospital in critical condition after suffering serious burns.
The fire also was suspected of causing at least one death outside of Ashland, Oregon, while in Washington state a one-year-old boy named Uriel was killed and his parents Jake and Jamie Hyland were severely burned fleeing a fire in Okanogan County, police said.
Another three were feared dead in the California Bear Fire that swept through Butte County on Tuesday night.