At least 23 dead as wildfires rage across West
Wildfires raging up and down the West Coast have led to at least 23 deaths as of Friday morning while destroying property and leaving millions breathing unclean air.
Nineteen deaths have been reported in California, three in Oregon and one in Washington state, USA Today reported on Friday.
The more than 100 major fires have reportedly encompassed 7,000 square miles, or about the landmass of New Jersey. Earlier this week the wildfires in California broke a state record still early in the year after burning 2 million acres as fire crews continue to put out fires across the state.
In Oregon, more than 500,000 people — over 10 percent of the state’s 4.2 million population — have been forced to evacuate because of wildfires.
John Sykes, a 50-year resident of northern California, fled with his car and some clothes as he watched the town of Berry Creek burn from about a mile away.
“The school is gone, the fire department’s gone, the bar’s gone, the laundromat’s gone, the general store’s gone,” Sykes told The Sacramento Bee. “I’ll never go back. … I never want to see California again.”