The Mammoth US Wildfires Have Turned The Sky A Horrific Red In Eerily Familiar Scenes

With massive spans of the US west coast battling ungodly wildfires – all of which have been exacerbated by record-breaking extreme heat and wind – images from towns in the firing line have been slowly filtering onto social media. And the picture they paint is not only horrific, but gut-wrenchingly familiar for thousands of Australians who experienced eerily similar scenes just a handful of months ago.

On Monday, fires in the Washington state scorched some 330,000 acres. That amount, recorded in a single day, is more than the total amount burned in each of the 12 previous annual fire seasons.

Down in Oregon, fires and smoke have cast eerie red hues across towns in the US state, turning skies dark in the middle of the day and conjuring up images we here in Australia last saw in late December during the horrific bushfires that ravaged the Victorian town of Mallacoota in the East Gippsland region.

Skies in the towns of Salem and Stayton, south of Portland, as well as Depoe Bay on the state’s Pacific shoreline, took on a scarily familiar shade at midday on what should otherwise have been a sunny – if not scorchingly hot – summer’s day.

The city of Eugene is currently experiencing the worst air quality of any place on the planet, thanks to thick blankets of smoke drifting over the region. Data suggests the air quality in the area is as high as 829 in certain parts of the city, which is considered to be extremely hazardous.

There are numerous fires currently burning across the US states of Oregon, Washington, and California, fuelled by a sizzling heat wave that has routinely broken records; temperatures nudging 50 degrees celsius were recorded in several areas of Los Angeles County on Monday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed that fires in his state have so far burned 2.3 million acres of land this year. At the same time last year, that number was 118,000.