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California fire: three dead in explosive hell

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Multimedia captionFive ways that show the extent of California wildfires in 2020

Three people died in a California fire that forced thousands of people from their homes, authorities say.

The Butte County Sheriff, northeast of San Francisco, said two people were found dead in one place and a third elsewhere.

One of the three was a motorist who was apparently trying to escape the Bear Fire, police told local media.

The Pacific Northwest states of the United States are currently fighting record fires.

  • Smoke from California fires turns the sky orange

California, which is in the midst of a 20-year mega-drought, is experiencing more than two dozen wildfires, including three of the five largest ever.

The latest deaths mean that fires in the state have now killed at least 1

1 people since last month. More than 2.3 million acres were burned in the state this year.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Draper told the East Bay Times that one of the casualties discovered Wednesday was someone who appeared to have tried to escape the fire.

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Multimedia captionWildfires rage across thousands of acres in California

He said investigators believe the unidentified driver escaped from his car after driving to a ditch before being overwhelmed by smoke and flames.

“Someone was just trying to escape and it didn’t work,” he said.

Where else do fires burn?

Fires are also burning in northwestern Washington state and neighboring Oregon, which is unusual due to the region’s cool, humid climate.

Two deaths in Oregon were attributed to the fires and one in Washington state.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a press conference Wednesday, “This could be the largest loss of life and property from a fire in our state’s history.”

An evacuee from Oregon, Jody Evans, told NewsChannel 21 about his ordeal.

“Fire on both sides, wind blowing, ash flying – it was like driving through hell,” he said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said on Tuesday that more than double the area had been burned in the previous 24 hours compared to that burned in his state all last year.

According to the National Fire Information Center, wildfires are raging in nine other western states.

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