California wildfires killed 16 people and destroyed hundreds of homes

Vastavam web: Around half a million people in Oregon evacuated as dozens of extreme, wind-driven wildfires scorched US West Coast states on Friday, destroying hundreds of homes and killing at least 16 people, state and local authorities said. Since Monday 11 people have died from fires in California, while four were killed in Oregon and a 1-year-old boy died in Washington state, police reported.

Thousands more were displaced north and south in the neighboring states of Washington and California. Oregon bore the brunt of nearly 100 major wildfires raging across Western states, with around 3,000 firefighters battling nearly three dozen blazes and officials saying about twice as many people were needed. The Oregon blazes tore through multiple communities in the Cascade mountain range as well as areas of coastal rainforest normally spared from wildfires. In eastern Washington state a fire destroyed most of the tiny farming town of Malden.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said some 900,000 acres (364,220 hectares) had burned, dwarfing the state’s annual 500,000-acre (202,340-hectare) average over the past decade.