GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Numerous wildfires burned in Oregon’s forested valleys and along the coast, destroying hundreds of homes and causing mass evacuations. Farther north, flames devoured buildings and huge tracts of land in Washington state.
Officials said the number of simultaneous fires and perhaps the damage caused was unprecedented. Several deaths were reported, including a 1-year-old boy in Washington state. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said communities have been “substantially destroyed” and warned there could be numerous fatalities.
Because of its cool, wet climate, the Pacific Northwest rarely experiences such intense fire activity. But climate change driven by human-caused greenhouse gases is expected to keep warming the region, with most models predicting drier summers, according to the College of the Environment at the University of Washington.
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