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 spread throughout their neighborhoods.
This Article Was Originally Published On esquire.com (9 Sep 2020)