Wildfire in California: three dead in an explosive blaze

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Media captionFive ways to show the scale of California wildfires in 2020

Three people have died in a California wildfire that has forced thousands from their homes, authorities say.

The Sheriff of Butte County, northeast of San Francisco, said two people were found dead in one location and a third elsewhere.

One of the three was a motorist who was apparently trying to escape the Bear Fire, police told local media.

States in the US Pacific Northwest are currently battling record-breaking wildfires.

  • Smoke from California wildfires turns the sky orange

California – which is in the midst of a 20-year mega-drought – has experienced more than two dozen wildfires, including three of its five largest.

The latest deaths mean fires in the state have now killed at least 11 people since last month. More than 2.3 million acres have been burned this year in the state.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Draper told the East Bay Times that one of the deaths discovered Wednesday was someone who appeared to have tried to escape the wildfire.

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Media captionForest fires rage over thousands of acres in California

He said investigators believed the unidentified driver fled his car after driving into a ditch before being engulfed in smoke and flames.

“Someone was just trying to run away and it just didn’t work,” he said.

Where else do forest fires burn?

Fires are also burning in northwest Washington state and neighboring Oregon, which is unusual due to the region’s cool and humid climate.

Two deaths in Oregon have been attributed to wildfires, and one in Washington state.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a press conference on Wednesday, “This could be the biggest loss of life and property from wildfires in our state’s history. ”

Oregon evacuee, Jody Evans, told NewsChannel 21 of her ordeal.

“The fire on both sides, the winds blowing, the ashes flying – it was like driving through hell,” she says.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said on Tuesday that more than double the area had been burned down in the past 24 hours compared to that which had been burned for the entire last year in his state.

Forest fires are raging in nine other western states, according to the National Fire Information Center.

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