Energy & Environment

Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon

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A series of wildfires across the Western U.S., including one in Oregon that has burned nearly 400,000 acres, has prompted thousands of evacuations.

In Oregon, where a wildfire has burned 394,000 acres as of Wednesday morning, officials have ordered a series of evacuations, including that of a wildlife research station in Klamath Falls, according to The Salem Reporter.

Meanwhile, in California, officials have ordered evacuations due to a wildfire in Butte County. The California blaze has destroyed two structures already, according to CNN. The evacuations come as local utility Pacific Gas & Electric said in a filing with the California Public Utilities Commission that the fire may have been ignited by its equipment.

At a Monday briefing, incident meteorologist Julia Ruthford said the fire had been intense enough to alter the weather.

“The fire actually generated a thunderstorm over itself that led to some lightning out ahead of it and some really gusty and erratic winds due to that extreme, extreme conditions due to the thunderstorm overhead,” she said at a briefing, according to CNN.

On Tuesday, CAL FIRE’s Butte County unit issued an update saying the evacuation orders now applied to the communities of Jonesville and Philbrook, as well as all High Lakes areas within the county.

Evacuations have also been ordered close to California’s border with Nevada due to a wildfire that has been burning for weeks and stretched to more than 39,000 acres. Several campgrounds and residential areas in Alpine County have been evacuated as a result, according to the network.

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