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On the other side of the country, smoke from deadly forest fires can be seen to the west



Deadly and historic forest fires in the west are sending smoke as far as the east coast, officials said.

The smoke created a hazy appearance in the sky over part of Virginia, the National Weather Service said. It also affected the New York sky.

At least 36 deaths have been linked to the California, Oregon and Washington fires.

10 people have died and thousands have been displaced in Oregon.

“Without question, our state has reached its limits,” said Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, at a press conference on Monday.

Mill Creek Hotshots triggered a kickback to protect homes during the Bobcat Fire in Arcadia, California on September 1
3, 2020.
David McNew / Getty Images

According to state data, nearly three dozen fires were active on Monday evening. Around 1 million acres had burned down and more than 1,100 homes were confirmed to have been destroyed, according to the state emergency department.

22 people are classified as missing.

Washington state has had one death and 25 are dead in California.

In California, where more than 16,500 firefighters fight 28 major forest fires, the death toll rose by a Monday after Butte County officials discovered the remains of someone believed to have been killed by the fire, Sheriff said Kory L. Honea.

The deadliest fire in the state, the Northern Complex in the Sierra Nevada Mountains north of Sacramento, has now claimed at least 15 lives.

The inferno, driven by high winds, moved to Butte County and caused great damage in the communities of Berry Creek, Feather Falls, Brush Creek, and others, according to Cal Fire.

Since the beginning of the year, California has burned more than 3.2 million acres – an area the size of Connecticut – and more than 4,200 homes or other buildings have been destroyed, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, known as Cal Fire.

After some help from the weather, the so-called “red flags” returned to the northeastern part of the state on Monday, the agency said.

The largest fire in modern California history, the massive August Complex that burned more than 755,600 acres in Northern California on Monday afternoon, was 30 percent contained. That fire was started by lightning last month.

President Donald Trump visited California on Monday as Governor Gavin Newsom and other officials raised the issue of climate change to play a role in the fires.

Trump interjected at one point and said, “It’s getting cooler.” After California’s Minister for Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, said he wished science would agree, Trump replied, “I think science doesn’t really know.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump on Monday a “climate arsonist” and called for action. Climate change “requires action, not denial,” he said. “It takes leadership, not a scapegoat.”

Oregon’s governor asked the president to issue a statement about a major disaster. Previously, he made a declaration of urgency for the state, which approves federal aid.

The state’s Congressional delegation urged approval of the major disaster statement, writing in a letter that confirmed fire-related deaths are likely to increase and that “entire communities have been destroyed”.

Cooler weather is forecast for Oregon by the end of the week, which “will be of tremendous help,” Brown said, but “the smoke covering the state is a constant reminder that this tragedy is not over.”

The Holiday Farm Fire in Lane County east of Eugene has burned more than 160,000 acres and destroyed homes, including that of Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews and a dozen volunteer firefighters. A fire station was also destroyed.

Brown hailed the fire chief as heroic for immediately ordering a level three evacuation – meaning people must leave immediately – which allowed residents to escape. “You and your team remind us why we love this state,” said Brown.

The more than 1 million acres burned in Oregon is double the average of around 500,000 during an entire forest fire season, the Oregon Congressional Delegation said.

The state is also facing its worst drought in more than 30 years, which has resulted in extremely dry forest conditions, they said.




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