Death toll from wildfires devastating American West soars to 33

President to visit California on Monday

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Sunday 13 September 2020 21:02
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Wildfires in California
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The death toll from the wildfires devastating the American West has soared to 33, officials have revealed.

As Donald Trump prepared to visit California and sparked fury among regional politicians over his claim the wildfires were the resort of poor forest management, officials said dozens of people reported missing had now been accounted for.

Nevertheless, at least 33 fatalities have now been confirmed in the states of California, Washington and Oregon, according to the Associated Press.

Even cities such as Seattle and Portland, themselves located many miles from the fires, have been engulfed in smog.

Warnings about air quality have been issued to residents.

Wildfires in California

The Seattle Times said air quality was expected to get better after a “super-massive” smoke plume billowed into the region over the weekend.

Washington governor Jay Inslee told ABC News about a woman he had spoken to the in the town of Malden, which had been “absolutely decimated”.

“What struck me, as I was listening to her, the only moisture in Eastern Washington was the tears of people who have lost their homes,” he said.

“Now we have a blowtorch over our states in the west, which is climate change, and we know that climate change is making fires start easier, spread faster and intensify.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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