Amid the continuing crises impacting the nation and the world, raging wildfires across Western states have been linked to widespread damage, injury, and even death.
As of Friday, at least 24 individuals — including multiple children — have perished in the horrific blazes burning in more than a dozen states, as reported by People.
More than a dozen states impacted
The coastal states of California, Oregon, and Washington appear to be bearing the brunt of the fiery carnage, but dangerous blazes have also been reported in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Hundreds of thousands of people living in the affected region have been forced to evacuate their homes or abandon their businesses as the wildfires encroach.
All told, more than 100 separate fires across multiple states have burned an area approximately the size of New Jersey. Unfortunately, the annual fire season is set to continue for several more weeks.
Twelve of those who have died so far in the latest fires were in California. Oregon has reported three deaths and another was recorded in Washington.
The Washington case is especially heartbreaking. The victim was identified as a 1-year-old child whose parents were attempting to escape what has been dubbed the Cold Springs Fire, as reported by KOMO.
Tragic stories emerge
Uriel Hyland was reportedly with his parents on a visit to their property near Okanogan over the weekend when fast-approaching flames forced them to flee first in their truck and then on foot.
Unable to escape the blaze, the family sought refuge in a river. When they were later discovered, the child was declared dead and his parents were flown to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for third-degree burns. As of the latest updates available, they were both listed in critical condition.
Another juvenile, 16-year-old Josiah Williams, is among the dead in California, according to local reports. He is believed to have died alone in the North Complex West Zone Fire near the town of Berry Creek in Butte County. A 12-year-old and his grandmother were reportedly among those killed in Oregon.
Meanwhile, dozens of people have been reported missing and even more have suffered serious burns or other injuries as they attempted to escape the infernos.
While the death toll could still continue to tick higher, Americans of all stripes are united in sending thoughts and prayers to those impacted as well as the brave firefighters called on to tackle the daunting blazes.
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Author: Ben Marquis
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