NewssliderUSA & Other Regions

Several communities have been evacuated or are on standby for evacuation orders
due to wildfires east of Salem, Oregon. 



by Mary Foran

As if the tear gas and the nightly smoke bombs from the rioting in Portland were not enough, then a wind storm comes covering the city with smoke from the many wildfires raging in the forests and grasslands of Washington and Oregon.

Breathing became difficult and many experienced nausea as the smell and stench thickened. The East wind down the Gorge was dry and dusty and gusted up to 50 mph at times.

Trees toppled and branches crashed down and the debris lined the streets awaiting the clean-up crews.

But as bad as it has gotten in Oregon and Washington, nothing compares with the 2 million square miles burned in California, where temperatures reached the triple-digits, making fire-fighting even more difficult and evacuations necessary.

The Global SuperTanker, a Boeing 747 aerial firefighter, is based out of Colorado Springs. According to the company that runs the aircraft, the Supertanker has almost twice the capacity of the next largest aerial tanker. It can be almost anywhere in the U.S. in about 2.5 hours. As of Wednesday, the aircraft was being utilized in California.

Bureau of Land Management California partners with aerial firefighter Global Supertanker, based outside Colorado Springs, to fight wildfires that spread across the most remote areas of California in August 2020.

Fires were raging in Colorado too, but Denver was set to see snow in summer due to a cold front moving in from the north.

The forests are what set apart the West from the East, and now they have been decimated by wildfires which are often caused by lightning strikes or careless campers.

The smoke from the wildfires can be seen billowing out in the direction of the winds in Satellite imaging, and dust and ash are an unhealthy combination for those suffering from asthma and other breathing difficulties.

We’ve written about the wildfires before, since they are a seasonal scourge in the West, but this year’s “season” has been one of the worst on record.

It takes a smoke-filled couple of days to bring the reality of the devastation to the fore.


Featured image uploaded 8 September 2020/Oregon Department of Transportation/CC BY2.0
Global Firefighter/Bureau of Land Management, PD