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At least 70 large wildfires burning in US west as fears mount over conditions

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Wildfires in US west

At least 70 large wildfires are burning across the US west and nearby states – engulfing more than 1m acres in flames – as fears mount that shifting conditions can worsen an already dire situation. Significant areas of these states are in the grips of drought conditions that are considered “extreme” and “exceptional” – the most severe categories.

Related: Heat exhaustion, apocalyptic scenes: what it’s like fighting the US’s biggest wildfire

Authorities in Oregon have said that these arid, windy and unstable conditions will continue fueling the 281,208-acre Bootleg fire, which is just 22% contained, according to National Interagency Fire Center and InciWeb. The smoke and heat have spurred giant “fire clouds”, which are dangerous columns of ash and smoke that can spiral up to six miles skyward.


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