On Wednesday morning, residents of certain areas of Washington, Oregon, and California woke up to an orange sky. A deadly combination of wind and heat has stirred into wildfires that are causing unimaginable destruction in 13 western states, the smoke blocking out the sun in many of the affected areas.
The West Coast’s wildfires—which have prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of people—serve as another horrifying reminder of the effects of climate change on our planet. As Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told The New York Times—human-caused climate change and fires of the scale we’ve seen this week have an indisputable link. “This climate-change connection is straightforward: Warmer temperatures dry out fuels. In areas with abundant and very dry fuels, all you need is a spark,” he said.
Meanwhile, residents of the towns in the wildfire’s warpath are left relatively helpless, many forced to pack their belongings and evacuate their homes. Jody Evans, who lives near Oregon’s Detroit Lake described her experience to local news station KTVZ: "Fire on both sides, winds blowing, ash flying—it was like driving through hell," Evans said. "Did you lose everything, or is the only thing you saved yourself?"
Here, we've gathered some staggering photos taken by those who have been watching the fires spread throughout their neighborhoods.
Oakland this morning pic.twitter.com/XKnzGLua2I— Shannon Stirone 💀 (@shannonmstirone) September 9, 2020
This is an unedited photo of the sky near Salem Oregon at around 7 pm today. pic.twitter.com/SayT87BDY2— RyanToh911 (@RyanToh911) September 9, 2020
This is not a sunset. This is a nearby wildfire. It’s 1:30pm. It’s raining ash pic.twitter.com/StXC5Za3FH— Mo ✨ (@morganariaaa) September 7, 2020
Wildfire in Bonney Lake now. pic.twitter.com/YwoEhLdvuo— Tellina Marazetti (@tellinamaia) September 9, 2020
Amazing shot of some of the wildfire damage in Pacific NW, USA.... (OP u/walteliasdisney) pic.twitter.com/rSGD44Laxr— Lee Trott (@MC372) September 9, 2020
Wildfire smoke and ash north of downtown Salem, Oregon, two hours *before* sunset. No filter. pic.twitter.com/SHe0GPqqvm— Darlene (I am not your partisan) Strozut☔️ (@Enstone) September 8, 2020
This is the view from a PG&E AlertWildfire network camera ~2 miles east of Paradise, as of two minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/quMwvQIf77— Mike McGough (@Mike_McGough) September 9, 2020
Hey all.— ❤miss lily❤ #BLM #ACAB (@LilyKangaroo) September 3, 2020
The Swanton Pacific Railroad in California was recently destroyed by a wildfire.
A lot of rolling stock and equipment was destroyed.
A recovery fund has been set up. Please donate if you can to support a piece of Cali's railroading history.https://t.co/3IhuUta5tu pic.twitter.com/NAs4gs7Sah
#BearFire/#NorthComplex - 3 ambulances requested to stage @ Lumpkin Rd & Forbestown Rd. 10-15 civilians being sheltered by FF's @ a ranch (sorry, missed the name). Fire has made roughly a 25-30 mile run to the S/W today. pic.twitter.com/iZyKa6TiPH— CA Fire Scanner (@CAFireScanner) September 9, 2020
This is time lapse of last hour of #NorthComplex fire. Looks like volcano.— Matthias Gafni (@mgafni) September 9, 2020
Video taken from wildfire camera on Jarbo Gap, the windy valley that launched the deadly Camp Fire. This fire appears to southeast of Paradise. pic.twitter.com/cs2bkF7yyx
Morning from North Berkeley. The rising sun is being blocked by another round of wildfire smoke. Northbrae is all orange and dark.— 𝔇𝔞𝔯𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔩 🍫 𝔒𝔴𝔢𝔫𝔰 (@IDoTheThinking) September 9, 2020
Before and After. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/Q2Zf52gE47
this is the view from my parents' house this morning, and on a normal (foggy) day: pic.twitter.com/zilPCl70jL— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) September 9, 2020
You Might Also Like