USA - California Wildfires - Deadly fire in rural Northern California / California wildfire leaves swathe of devastation in Keswick / Twin Northern California fires threaten 12,000 homes / California Wildfires Seen from Space / Smoke from western wildfires blankets Seattle
Winds picked up and sent flames from a massive Southern California wildfire rushing downhill on the flanks of Mount San Jacinto.
Helicopters making water drops and air tankers pouring red flame retardant circled overhead as flames burned both sides of the main road leading to the scenic town of Idyllwild.
The blaze erupted on July 25th and quickly turned into a wall of flame that torched timber and dry brush. In a matter of hours, the so-called Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometers).
About 3,000 residents were under evacuation orders Thursday in Idyllwild and several neighboring communities.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for this fire and two others.
An explosive wildfire that has torn through several Northern California communities, forcing thousands to flee and burning hundreds of home houses, continues to grow out of control.
Firefighters spent much of the day on July 28th scrambling from one flare-up to another spread over miles of mountainous terrain.
It's now the largest fire burning in California.
Two firefighters were killed in the blaze, including a bulldozer operator who was helping clear vegetation in the wildfire's path.
About 38,000 people were under evacuation orders, 5,000 homes were threatened and the fire was just 5 percent contained.
The latest tally of 536 destroyed structures was up from 500 earlier in the day, and sure to rise.
A count by The Associated Press found at least 300 of those structures were homes.
Authorities also announced that three more people had been killed in the blaze, two young children and their great-grandmother.
Keswick, a mountain town of about 450 people, has been reduced to an ashy moonscape of blackened trees and smouldering rubble.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department was called in to tamp down smoking piles of debris that were scattered around the town amid downed electricity lines.
The deadly Northern California wildfire that has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes slowed down on July 29th after days of explosive growth, giving officials hope even as they announced the discovery of a sixth fatality.
The blaze is burning around Redding, a city of roughly 92,000 people about 230 miles (370 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said authorities found a sixth victim of the blaze at a home that was consumed by flames. The victim's identity was not released. Several others have been reported missing.
The so-called Carr Fire was ignited by a vehicle problem on Monday about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the city.
On July 27th, it swept through the historic Gold Rush town of Shasta and nearby Keswick, fueled by gusty winds and dry vegetation.
It then jumped the Sacramento River and took out subdivisions on the western edge of Redding.
The latest tally showed at least 657 homes destroyed and another 145 damaged, with the fire having consumed 149 square miles (386 square kilometers).
In Northern California, twin fires straddling Mendocino and Lake counties have destroyed at least seven homes and threatened an estimated 12,000 more, US fire officials said.
Firefighters pressed their battle against a pair of fires that have burned 117 square miles (300 square kilometres) across Mendocino and Lake counties.
Lake County is about 110 miles (180 kilometres) north of San Francisco.
In all, roughly 19,000 people have been warned to flee.
Evacuation orders remained in effect on July 31st for the town of Lakeport, along with some smaller communities and a section of the Mendocino National Forest.
Lakeport is a popular destination for bass anglers and boaters on the shores of Clear Lake. By July 30th, it was a ghost town, its main streets deserted.
One of two wildfires burning miles apart in Northern California grew overnight, scorching dry vegetation in rugged terrain.
Satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Space Agency show the scope of the fires as they burned across the state in the last few days.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday the blaze burning in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties has scorched 378 square miles (979 square kilometers). It's only 20 percent contained.
But fire crews made progress against the other blaze, which is now 78 percent contained.
On August 6th the wildfires known as the Mendocino Complex, became the state's largest wildfire in history.
Officials say together the blazes about 100 miles (259 kilometers) north of San Francisco have charred 455 square miles (1,178 square kilometers).
That surpasses a wildfire in 2017 in Southern California that burned 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometers).
Smoke from hundreds of wildfires ranging along the North American West Coast are blanketing Seattle and the northwest with heavy smoke.
Public-health officials warned of unhealthy air across many parts of the Pacific Northwest.
Local and regional wildfires are causing smoke and haze in Washington, prompting air quality alerts from Walla Walla to Spokane to Yakima.
The National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for much of Central and Eastern Washington and northern Idaho through August 14th.
The service says unhealthy air will be common because of the large wildfires currently burning in the region.
People should limit outdoor activity when possible, officials said.
Smoke can irritate eyes and worsen problems for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Air quality was at unhealthy levels for sensitive groups including children, the elderly and people with respiratory illness on August 13th, several clean-air agencies in Puget Sound said.
In Oregon, fires in Washington state and in the southern part of the state were also causing smoky, hazy conditions August 13th.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on August 13th issued several air quality advisories.
It says air quality was unhealthy in the Portland region, as well as in areas including Pendleton, Grants Pass, Medford and Pendleton.
In Beaverton, schools suspended outdoor athletic activities because of the unhealthy air quality.
Thirteen large wildfires have burned more than 211 square miles in Washington state, while 10 large fires have scorched more than 256 square miles in Oregon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. About 600 wildfires are burning across British Columbia.