Fueled by drought and wind, the fires continued to spread across the west coast of the United States from California to Washington state on Wednesday, leading to evacuations and air pollution alerts.
• Read also: More than 8,000 km2 burned in California, a record since 1987
More than two dozen fires raged in California, and nearly a thousand firefighters battled the blaze in the Fresno area of the upstate.
Another wildfire, the Bobcat Fire, devastated more than 4,000 acres and was still out of control despite 400 firefighters deployed, Los Angeles County firefighters said on Twitter.
“Be prepared and follow the instructions: ready, go”, they stressed to the address of the inhabitants of this area who could be ordered to evacuate.
Evacuation orders have also been issued in southern California, near San Diego, where nearly 7,000 hectares have burned, according to local authorities.
The fires have spread to northern California, Oregon and central Washington state.
State Governor Jay Inslee said on Tuesday more than 130,000 hectares had burned in 24 hours, more than double the area burned for the full year of 2019. Firefighters were fighting nine “major” fires, a- he said.
“The conditions are so dry, so hot, so windy, because the climate has changed,” said the governor, adding that more than 100,000 people were without electricity.
The easterly wind pushed the fumes toward the Seattle area, the state’s largest city, where an air pollution alert was issued by the local Department of Ecology.
California has experienced very hot weather in recent days. The mercury rose to 49 ° C in Woodland Hills on Sunday, a record for Los Angeles County, according to the National Weather Service.
A heat wave had already hit California in mid-August, where a record temperature of 54.4 ° C in the shade was recorded in Death Valley, one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth.
The fire ravaged more than 8,000 km2 in the state this year, a record since 1987, and killed at least seven people, according to firefighters, as the end of the fire season is still far away.