High winds and heat are stoking nearly 100 wildfires across the US West Oregon is the worst-hit state as an area twice the size of New York City burns.
A 12-year-old boy and his grandmother died in a wildfire burning near the Santiam Valley community of Lyons, about 50 miles south of Portland, KOIN 6 news reported, citing the family, who said the boy's mother was in critical condition.
Climate scientists blame global warming for extreme wet and dry seasons in the US West that have caused grasses and scrub to flourish then dry out, leaving abundant fuel for fires.
In Oregon, winds are driving down the slopes of the Cascade Mountains to fan fires burning through parched forests. Across the United States wildfires have burned nearly 4.7 million acres in 2020, the highest year-to-date area since 2018, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Most of the fires are in western states, where 17 new large blazes were reported on Wednesday, bringing the total to 96, which have burned more than 3.4 million acres - an area nearly the size of the US state of Connecticut.