Thousands evacuated as wildfires spread across western US

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the US state of Oregon, as a massive wildfire shoots clouds of ash and smoke into the air and threatens entire towns.The Creek Fire is the latest to hit the western United States, where dozens of blazes in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state have scorched more than 3,100sq km (1,200sq miles) so far this summer.

About 1,200 firefighters and other personnel are working to put out the fire east of Eugene, Oregon, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).The Creek Fire has grown to more than 35,000 hectares (86,734 acres) – roughly twice the size of Washington, DC – and it was zero percent contained as of Monday.Steep terrain has complicated efforts to contain the blaze, and evacuations have been ordered for Lane and Deschutes counties. Authorities say more than 2,000 homes are at risk.

The National Interagency Fire Center reported that more than 90 fires are currently burning across seven states in the west: California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.The Double Creek fire in a more remote area of Oregon has consumed nearly 63,000 hectares (155,000 acres) and is about 15 percent contained.

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