Story at a glance
- At least 35 people have been killed in fires across California and the Pacific Northwest states.
- President Trump will visit California today.
As wildfires blaze throughout the West Coast, the hazy skies meandering over states like California and Oregon are starting to clear up, but the safety of the air quality remains questionable.
With high winds and low humidity levels propagating the fires, meteorologist Dan Borsum told USAToday that while fire conditions may improve somewhat around Tuesday, the overall air quality of California’s Bay Area and regions in the Pacific Northwest may not improve until October.
In addition to a rising death toll of at least 35 people, the smoke and ash from the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington have polluted the air so severely that residents in the affected areas have lived under red, orange and grey skies for several days. Although conditions have visibly improved, smoke and debris particles still linger in the air.
The deadly and record-breaking fires have drawn the attention of both 2020 presidential contenders, former Vice President Biden and President Trump. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will host President Trump on Monday and visit a wildfire command center.
While California is consistently plagued with massive wildfires, having witnessed the worst wildfire in state history with the 2018 Camp Fire, Oregon is experiencing its most active wildfire season in 30 years, with Gov. Kate Brown (D) issuing a state emergency last week as more than 800 square miles of land have been burned.
One of the most vicious fires ravaging Oregon is the Almeda Fire, which has burned some neighborhoods to the ground.
The cause of the main fire in Oregon remains unknown, but police recently debunked rumors that fringe political groups and activists are responsible.
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