Historic wildfires ravaging the Western United States, destroying five million acres and killing at least 35 people, have left their mark as far away as Michigan, new photos reveal.
Satellite imagery provided by the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center shows smoke billowing across the West, right in to Michigan – a distance of around 2,000 miles.
‘Here is a visible satellite image valid at 2pm PDT showing the vast extent of the wildfire smoke,’ the agency tweeted on Saturday.
‘The area in the orange contour is smoke in the mid-upper levels of the atmosphere that has reached as far east as Michigan!
‘The red contour is the dense smoke near the West Coast.’
Satellite imagery on Saturday showed an area, marked orange, of smoke that has reached as far east as Michigan
The smoke was blanketing an area of almost one million square miles, according to new photos
Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management produced a map showing the fires in red, concentrated in Oregon and California
President Donald Trump, who has said relatively little about the devastating fires, is traveling to California on Monday, and will visit McClellan Park, near Sacramento.
He is scheduled to be briefed on the fires – an addition to a previously plannedWest Coast fundraising and campaign visit.
On Friday he tweeted to thank the fire fighters – his first response in over a month of blazes.
‘I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work,’ he said, referring to an act that frees up federal funds and other resources to help supplement state and local efforts.
‘We are with them all the way!’
On Saturday on Saturday night, Trump dismissed the wildfires by blaming them on California’s Democratic leadership.
‘It is about forest management,’ he said at a rally in Nevada.
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, said Trump’s remarks were an insult.
‘Anybody that lives in California is insulted by that,’ he said.
‘Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn’t real.
‘We need real action. We need to reduce the carbon emissions that we have. And we need to make sure we can manage this water. This isn’t about forest management or raking.’
A firefighter in California is pictured on Saturday attacking the Bobcat Fire, near Arcadia
Skies above Encinitas, California, were thick with orange smoke on Sunday morning
The usually blue skies above Encinitas were orange with smoke and ash on Sunday
The August Complex fire, started by lightning on August 17, is now the largest wildfire in California’s history.
It is still burning fiercely, 120 miles north of the state capital, Sacramento.
As of Monday, 877,000 acres had burnt and the fire was only 28 per cent controlled.
‘Fire is threatening residential homes, historic structures, prehistoric sites, infrastructure (powerlines, communication towers, hydroelectric plant), timber, grazing lands, old-growth trees, threatened and endangered species habitat, and campgrounds,’ the local authorities said.
Forty miles south of the August Complex, the North Complex fire was encroaching upon the town of Paradise, where more than 80 people died fires two years ago.
The smoke from the series of fires turned the skies in orange San Francisco, 180 miles to the south.
Some of the worst conditions remained in Oregon, however, where more than 30 active fires have burned 900,000 acres.
A heavy layer of wildfire smoke hangs in the air as deer forage on a farm near Elkton in rural western Oregon on Monday
Thick fog and smoke covers Solana Beach, California, on Monday amid record-breaking wildfires
The Beachie Creek fire, a blaze south of Portland that has destroyed almost 200,000 acres and killed four people, continued to burn uncontrolled on Monday morning.
‘They never had anything like this,’ said Trump, who systematically downplays global warming. ‘Please remember the words, very simple, forest management.’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Saturday it was ‘undeniable’ that ‘climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life.’
His running mate, California senator Kamala Harris, backed him up Sunday on Twitter, saying Trump ‘denies the evidence.’
‘Over the past few years, CA has experienced some of the largest, most destructive wildfires in history – fueled & intensified by the climate crisis,’ Harris wrote.
Charred machinery, cars and buildings smolder in the Meadow Lakes area of California following the Creek Fire
A police vehicle drives past a destroyed petrol station on State Route 168, which was devastated by the Creek Fire
Burnt out homes and cars are pictured in the Meadow Lakes area of California after the Creek Fire swept through
Outdoor furnituire stands next to a destroyed petrol station on State Route 168 after the Creek Fire passed though
Law enforcement officers watch flames into the air as the Bear Fire continues to spread in Oroville, California, on Wednesday
More than 14,000 firefighters are out battling 25 separate blazes in California. Pictured: The Bear Fire in Oroville
Garcetti’s comments came after the White House announced Trump’s plans to meet with the heads of California’s emergency services on Monday
Berry Creek volunteer firefighter Zack Gable sifts through charred rubble from the Bear Fire
Fire damage is seen in Mill City, Oregon, on Saturday after a blaze ripped through the town
Worsening the sense of doom, all five of the world’s most air-polluted cities Saturday were on the West Coast, according to IQAir, with dense smog and ash coating the atmosphere from Los Angeles up to Vancouver in Canada.
‘It’s apocalyptic,’ Washington state governor Jay Inslee told ABC.
‘It’s maddening right now we have this cosmic challenge to our communities, the entire West Coast of the United States on fire, to have a president to deny that these are not just wildfires, these are climate fires,’ Inslee said.
More than 20,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, with officials warning that cooler weather could end Monday as warmer, drier conditions return.
Most of the fatalities have occurred in California and Oregon, with emergency services in the two states recording 30 deaths.
Among them was a 13-year-old boy in Oregon, found in a car with his dog in his lap. The road was so hot it had melted the tires as he tried to flee.