By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Washington and Oregon are ablaze in extreme fires that have burned up over 1,200 square miles, which is an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island! It’s been two weeks since the lightning-sparked wildfires began swallowing up trees and homes, and now the northwestern USA has lost almost a million acres of land to the inferno. About 9,000 firefighters and support staff are taking on 20 fires spread across both states, as the flames threaten to consume thousands of buildings.
Although this region of the USA is usually wet with rain and breezy with cool temperatures, nothing can stop a lightning bolt from rocketing down to the Earth and igniting a fire. “When lightning comes through, it’s typical to have a lot of fires from it, and we usually get large fires when conditions are right,” explained Carol Connolly of the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. “But rarely do we get this many at one time.”
One of the enormous wildfires that firefighters were tackling on Sunday was a 369,000-acre monster that has taken over an area of land bigger than the city of Los Angeles. What’s crazy, is that it became that massive in just 6 days! Meanwhile, the 237,890-acre Carlton Complex fire in Washington has destroyed 80 to 100 homes, triggered massive power outages, and has sent both humans and animals running for shelter. As smoke fills the skies, eastern Washington and northern Idaho have been placed under air-quality alerts.
Featured image courtesy of H Dragon on Flickr. Image of ruined home courtesy of Jay Inslee on Flickr.