Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Dozens still missing, feared dead in Western wildfires
breaking

Dozens still missing, feared dead in Western wildfires

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

Diminishing winds and rising humidity helped firefighters battling deadly blazes in Oregon and California, but with dozens of people still missing, authorities in both states feared that the receding flames could reveal many more dead across the blackened landscape.

Oregon's emergency management director said officials were preparing for a possible “mass fatality event,” and the state fire marshal was abruptly placed on administrative leave.

In California, smoke that painted skies orange also helped crews corral the state's deadliest blaze of the year. The smoke helped blocked the sun, reducing temperatures and raising humidity, officials said.

Nine people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been confirmed dead in California since lightning-caused fires that started weeks ago fused into a monster blaze that largely destroyed Berry Creek, a tiny hamlet in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco.

Oregon authorities have not released an exact death count, but at least eight fatalities were reported from the blazes that have taken a toll from one end of the state to the other. Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that tens of thousands of people had been forced to flee their homes.

Two large blazes threatened to merge near the most populated part of Oregon, including the suburbs of Portland. More than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and about 500,000 are in different levels of evacuation zones.

PLUS: A California town is slowly rebuilding from wildfires even as new blazes threaten it. Click or tap for full report.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Recommended for you

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics