WILDFIRES continue to rage in the West Coast as Oregon braces itself for "mass fatalities".
Terrifying pictures show the flames engulfing a forest in California and so far 25 people have in the week long inferno.
An area the size of New Jersey has scorched by flames fanned by hot weather and strong winds.
An estimated 500,000 Oregon residents have been forced to flee their homes as others returned to survey the smoldering ruins of their properties.
So far there have been eight confirmed fatalities in Oregon but scores of people were missing in Jackson County in the southern area of the state and in Marion County east of Salem, the state capital.
Governor Kate Brown has warned the death toll could grow far higher.
Office of Emergency Management chief Andrew Phelps said disaster teams searching the scorched ruins of a half-dozen small towns laid to waste were bracing to encounter possible "mass fatality incidents".
A 42-year-old man has been arrested on two counts of arson for allegedly starting a fire in southern Oregon on Tuesday.
After four days of hot, windy weather, hope arrived in the form of calmer winds blowing in from the ocean, bringing cooler, moister conditions to help firefighters.
"The weather is going to be favorable for us," said Doug Grafe, fire protection chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry, adding that the break in the weather was forecast to continue into next week.
In California, crews are continuing to battle a fire in the Angeles National Forest that has been burning since last Sunday and sent smoke drifting over Los Angeles and neighboring counties.
Haunting photos show the orange skies and the charred devastation caused by the wildfires that have plagued the West Coast.
One emotional image shows Desiree Pierce covering her mouth in shock as she gazes at the ruins of her Talent, Oregon, home which was destroyed by the Alamada Fire.
"I just needed to see it, to get some closure," Pierce told The Associated Press.
Another powerful photo shows two small children, Ashley and Ethan, wearing coronavirus masks holding up the frame of their warped bike.
Beams of metal protrude from among the rubble in many of the apocalyptic photos, with not much else recognizable in the photos.
Eden McCarthy pets her dog Hina for comfort as she looks at the destruction of her Talent home, in one picture taken on Thursday.
Another picture shows an American flag patriotically flying on Friday in front of a Phoenix, Oregon, neighborhood destroyed by the fire with an ashen sky darkening the photo.
In multiple photos, lone cars that seem to have escaped the wrath of the blaze are seen sitting in parking lots with pink fire retardant adding an eerie hue to the images.
But another picture shows the skeleton of a vehicle sitting between the guts of two homes in the Pheonix, Oregon’s Bear Lakes Estates neighborhood.
Aerial shots show just how devastating the fires have become, with one drone image showing an entire mobile home park that was destroyed by the fires.
Fanned by 50mph winds, flames have cast orange and red hazes over cities and show no sign of abating as firefighters continue a desperate battle to contain the fires.
Images show heroes dashing into the heat while another pictures a firefighter rubbing his head as he watches a fire spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood of unincorporated Napa County, California.
But officials have also had to battle misinformation in addition to the brutal blazes.
Rumors have been spreading through unsubstantiated social media posts that the fires have been caused by arsonists on both the far-right and far-left realms of the political spectrum, the AP reported.
The FBI, however, said Friday that it has investigated several of the claims and found them to be untrue, the outlet reported.
“It is hot, dry, and fire spreads quickly in those conditions. There is nothing to show its Antifa or Proud Boys setting fires,” firefighter Matt Lowery wrote Thursday night on the Facebook page for the East Pierce Fire & Rescue union south of Seattle.
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