Winds gusting as high as 50 mph fanned dozens of catastrophic wildfires Wednesday across a large swath of Washington state and Oregon that rarely experiences such intense fire activity because of the Pacific Northwest’s cool and wet climate. Oregon’s governor said hundreds of homes were destroyed.
Firefighters were struggling to try to contain and douse the blazes and officials in some places were giving residents just minutes to evacuate their homes. The fires trapped firefighters and civilians behind fire lines in Oregon and leveled an entire small town in eastern Washington.
The devastation could become overwhelming, said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.
“This could be the greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” Brown told reporters.
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