West Coast wildfires force 500,000 people in Oregon to flee homes

11 September 2020, 08:37 | Updated: 11 September 2020, 11:47

Around 10% of Oregon's population has been evacuated
Around 10% of Oregon's population has been evacuated. Picture: PA

More than half a million people have been forced to flee their homes in the US state of Oregon as dozens of wildfires continue to tear a path across the country's West Coast.

The state, which is home to 4.2 million people, has now had more than 10% of its population evacuated due to the deadly blazes being fanned by hot and dry winds.

Oregon, California and Washington are said to be the three worst-affected areas, where at least 14 people have died.

In Lyons, Oregon, a 12-year-old boy was found dead alongside his dog on Thursday after flames approached his home.

His grandmother was also killed.

Confirming the news on Facebook, family members said they were "devastated" by the events, describing his as someone who was "loved and adored by all his family and friends".

A separate post from his uncle said: "Don't take anything in life for granted and make the best of everyday."

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At least ten people have now died in California alone after seven bodies were discovered in Butte County on Thursday.

Sixteen people are still missing, and thousands of homes have been destroyed.

The North Complex fire, which is burning through Butte County, is the 10th largest on record and is still increasing in size.

Firefighters are currently trying to stop it from reaching the town of Paradise, where the state's most destructive blaze two years ago killed 85 people and destroyed 19,000 buildings.

Also on Thursday, a White House spokesman said Donald Trump had spoken to California Governor Gavin Newsom to "express condolences" to those who had died.

He also wanted to "reiterate the administration's full support to help those on the front lines of the fires."

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