10 people confirmed dead in US Oregon wildfires

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2020

In a separate move Jim Walker, Oregon's state fire marshal, has resigned after being placed on administrative leave.

Almost all of the dozens of people reported missing after a devastating blaze in southern OR have been accounted for, authorities said, as crews continued to battle wildfires that have killed at least 33 victims.

At least ten people have been killed in OR, according to the office of emergency management.

California has already seen more than 3.2 million acres burn this year - an annual record, with almost four months of fire season still to come. The blazes resulted in widespread evacuations, forcing over than 40,000 people to escape from their houses.

"We are removing false claims that the wildfires in OR were started by certain groups", a Facebook spokesman said on Saturday.

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"This is climate change, and this is an administration that's put its head in the sand", said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union".

"This is a wake up call for all of us that we've got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change", Brown said.

He has said that western governors bear some of the blame for intense fire seasons in recent years, and has accused them of poor forest management.

Beachie Creek fire
A chicken wanders through charred remains from the Beachie Creek Fire near the destroyed Oregon Department of Forestry

The governors of those states, all Democrats, say the fires are due to climate change, while President Trump, who will visit California on Monday to discuss the blazes with officials, has instead blamed inadequate forest management.

"This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the west coast", she told CBS's Face the Nation.

The death toll from wildfires that have ravaged the United States' West Coast has risen to 33 as the National Weather Service has issued a "red flag warning" amid high winds and dry conditions in OR and some California counties. The flames have turned homes into rubble, forced tens of thousands to flee and shrouded the region with smoke so thick that air quality was some of the worst in the world. "I've never seen this but we try to stay positive as conditions are getting better", said a 37-year-old man who gave his name as Jessie.

The dry, windy conditions that fed the flames in OR were probably a once-in-a-generation event, said Greg Jones, a professor and research climatologist at Linfield University in McMinnville.

Facebook has started removing false claims that the deadly wildfires in OR were started by various left-wing and right-wing groups, a spokesman for the social media company said, after the rumours left state officials inundated with queries for information. Twenty-two people have died in California, and one person has been killed in Washington state.

Fighting climate change is a key, motivating issue for young people and progressive-leaning voters that Biden needs to turn out to vote in the November 3 election.

"So, instead of hitting the golf course or going on vacation, the president and congress respectively should sit down and make sure there is assistance for these fearless men and women protecting our lives and our property".

"While Trump denies the evidence of this crisis, Joe Biden will get to work taking the drastic action we need on day one to combat it". "Every summer we're burning up".

Associated Press journalist Manuel Valdes in Talent contributed.

One COVID-related death reported by Dallas County
Bell County has had a total of 440 COVID-19 cases with seven people now hospitalized, who range in age from 49-93. Texas health officials on Sunday reported 1,840 new cases of the coronavirus and 47 additional deaths.

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