BETTING À DAY
A huge wildfire was spreading out of control in the US state of Oregon on Monday, with parts of the American West remaining ravaged by different fires forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents, local authorities reported.
Nearly 35,000 acres have been destroyed by the blaze, dubbed the Cedar Creek Fire, which has quadrupled in size in four days and spans two counties in central Oregon, east of the city of Eugene, according to the National Wildland Fire Coordination Group (NWCG).
More than 2,000 homes and 400 commercial buildings are threatened by the fire and for the past few days the authorities have activated level three of their evacuation plan in certain areas, meaning that the danger in these places is imminent and that they must be evacuated immediately.
Hundreds of residents have already been ordered to evacuate and authorities have warned thousands more to prepare to follow them if necessary.
Dense smoke enveloped the area, impairing air quality, according to the NWCG.
“Getting out of here as fast as possible was all I had on my mind,” Herman Schimmel, a resident who recently moved to the area, told The Oregonian newspaper.
The “Cedar Creek Fire” progressed due to last week's weather conditions combining easterly winds, high temperatures and drought.
Eight helicopters and more than 1,000 firefighters were trying to contain the fire on Monday. blaze, which broke out on August 1.
On Sunday, firefighters focused on building barriers against the flames along existing roads. They said it could take about a week.
The American West is suffering the consequences of more than two decades of devastating drought, made worse by climate change.
Currently , more than 90 fires are active in eight western U.S. states, suffocating residents of major cities like Seattle, Washington.
Firefighters are battling the “Fairview Fire” on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and the “Mosquito Fire” around Sacramento.