Firefighters dropped retardant from the air on Tuesday (July 13) to suppress a wildfire in Oregon, one of the dozens of blazes raging across the drought-stricken U.S. West.
The Grandview fire in Deschutes and Jefferson counties burned in an evergreen forest, sending smoke billowing into the sky.
Seventy major active wildfires were listed on Thursday (July 15) as having blackened nearly 1 million acres in 11 states, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, reported.
Other states hard hit by the latest spate of wildfires include California, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
As of Wednesday, the centre in Boise put its “national wildland fire preparedness level” at 5, the highest of its five-tier scale, meaning most U.S. firefighting resources are currently deployed somewhere across the country.
The situation represents an unusually active start to the annual fire season, coming amid extremely dry conditions and record-breaking heat that has baked much of the West in recent weeks.
Scientists have said the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires are largely attributable to prolonged drought that is symptomatic of climate change.