MORE than half a million people have been forced to evacuate their homes on the West Coast of the United States of America as wildfires continue to rage.
Dozens of people were missing in Oregon, 40 000 people have been evacuated. About 500,000 citizens are in different levels of evacuation zones, either having been told to leave or to prepare to do so,
California has seen five of its 10 largest as well as two of its 20 most deadly fires in history this year.
This fire season, more than 6 300 structures have been damaged or destroyed and nearly 5 000 square miles have been burned, according to Cal Fire.
Oregon and Washington State have also been hit hard. More than 1 400 square miles have burned in Oregon and nearly 1 000 square miles in Washington state.
Governor Kate Brown said the state had never before seen as much contained wildfire burning at once, with up to 900 000 acres ravaged in just the past week – nearly twice the yearly average.
Investigators say one fire in Oregon might have been lit deliberately after two bodies were found and around 600 homes were destroyed. More victims are expected to be found as search teams continue to look through the wreckage.
Hot and dry winds are fanning the flames which are feeding on drought-sapped vegetation, with California, Oregon, and Washington state worst affected.