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Dozens missing in Oregon as wildfires continue to sweep US West Coast states

Scores of people are missing in Oregon, state Governor Kate Brown has said, as deadly wildfires continue to sweep through US West Coast states.

Fanned by winds amid record heat, the blazes have burnt millions of acres, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed at least 25 people in the United States this year.

Firefighters are battling 16 large blazes, 40,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.




Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) says the fires have killed six people, but officials warn the final death toll could be much higher.

Governor Brown on Friday implored householders to stay out of the fire zones despite reports of looting.

“Let me assure you that we have the Oregon National Guard and Oregon State Police monitoring the situation and preventing looting,” she said.



At least one blaze in Oregon – the Almeda Fire, one of the most destructive in the state – is being treated as suspected arson.

The smoke pollution from the wildfires has left Oregon’s largest city, Portland, with the worst air quality in the world, followed by San Francisco and Seattle, according to IQAir.com.

Fires have been raging in California, Oregon and Washington for three weeks now.

In Washington State, firefighters are tackling 15 large fires. A one-year-old boy died earlier this week as his family tried to escape a blaze. His parents remain in critical condition.

California has seen at least 20 deaths in total from fires since 15 August. Tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders as 14,800 firefighters continue to combat 28 major fires in the state.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom said the fires show the debate around climate change is “over”.

“Just come to the state of California. Observe it with your own eyes,” he told reporters from a charred mountainside.

The fires have burnt a total 4.5 million acres, an area slightly smaller than Wales, in recent weeks, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.