There is a West Coast inferno raging from Washington to Oregon and California. Land has been destroyed, hundreds of homes burned to the ground, livestock and livelihoods affected, not counting the number of people and firefighters that have died. It appears that the conditions will worsen through the weekend, but the hope for rain may come on Monday.
The August Complex fire in California has burned a record number of acreage at 471,185+ and has become the largest wild fire in California history.
Oregon is experiencing the worst fire season in their history as well. Near Salem, the County Fairgrounds is being used to house ranchers and livestock. Since Covid-19 knocked out the County Fair this year, the grounds has room for them.
In Washington, 80% of the small town of Malden burned to the ground, leaving its residents homeless and without livelihood.
Water skimmer planes are being used to fight the fires in several areas of the West.
Expect areas of smoke & periods of deteriorating air quality through the weekend. Please check with the Oregon DEQ for the latest air quality data & info at https://t.co/KngMhw6pSl & WA’s Dept. of Ecology for the latest air quality data & info at https://t.co/fLgZTVxwz5 #pdxtst pic.twitter.com/xH433pKwME
— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) September 10, 2020
Satellite this morning shows dense smoke across much of the West Coast due to wildfires.
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) September 9, 2020
Here are the latest air quality readings in some of our major cities. In the central and southern Willamette Valley, the air is "hazardous." In the Portland metro area, the air is in the "unhealthy" category. Portland area air will likely get worse this afternoon & evening. pic.twitter.com/9alMTS7qrC
— Brian MacMillan (@BMacTV) September 10, 2020
Quashing the rumor:
Authorities in Oregon have emphatically stated that Antifa did NOT start the wildfires in that state. Though they have been obsessed with starting fires in downtown Portland, they would get to choke on their own ashes if they had set them.
West Coast inferno
In California, 10 people were killed in Bear Fire, five people were killed in the LNU Lightning Complex, three were killed in the North Complex, and one each were killed in the CZU August Lightning Complex, August Lightning Complex, Tatham Fire and Hills Fires. In Oregon, two people were killed in the Santiam Fire and one was killed in the Almeda Fire, and one person died in the Cold Springs Fire in Washington.
Air Quality issues
As many of the people we love are caught somewhere in areas around the fires, the least of their worries is a mask for Covid-19. Many are wearing masks due to the ash in the air.
A friend of mine who lives near Salem, Oregon sent pictures of the air quality they’ve been dealing with just outside the city.
Sections of Highway 101 are closed due to the fires. Lincoln City, Oregon, was evacuated. Oregon’s State Highway 22 is closed East of Salem. Northern California cities such as Redding are listed as “unhealthy” air quality due to being surrounded by fires. In Southern California, Los Angeles is also dealing with air quality that is poor.
My friend told me that her neighbors have geared up their garden hoses with sprayers in case the fires come to their homes. The state has asked that no one water their property for prevention, but to save the water for the fires.
As fire season continues to rage, we can hope for them to get rain to put out the West coast inferno soon.
Featured photo provided by SDC, Salem, Oregon.