Oregon wildfires devastate communities as fires rage on


Shawn Thompson hugs Melissa Vuckovich after an unsuccessful search for their missing cat, at the location of where their home once stood, in a mobile home park on September 11, 2020 in Ashland, Oregon.

David Ryder | Getty Images

A week after wildfires began consuming thousands of acres of land in Oregon, firefighters are still working to contain some of the most destructive blazes in the state’s history.

Thirty-four fires are raging in the area and more than 900,000 acres — an area bigger than Rhode Island — have burned in the state, according to Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. The majority of the fires are in the westernmost part of the state along the Cascade mountains.

Much of the state remains under an air quality alert as smoky skies have yet to clear in the region. Smoke levels are expected to remain at unhealthy levels through at least Tuesday.

Many school districts have announced closures due to the hazardous conditions.

Fog combined with smoke has kept temperatures cooler in the state and aided in suppressing some fires. At least 10 people have died, according to reports, and countless homes and businesses have been destroyed.

Thousands forced to flee as fires rage 

Oregon residents evacuate north along highway Highway 213 on September 9, 2020 near Oregon City, Oregon.

Nathan Howard | Getty Images

Red sky and thick smoke are seen in Salem City

Red sky and thick smoke are seen in Salem City, Oregon, U.S., September 8, 2020, in this picture obtained from social media. Picture taken September 8, 2020.

Zak Stone | Reuters

Some residents remain to protect their properties

A sign is seen near the road as the fire continues, near Mollala, Oregon, U.S., September 13, 2020.

Shannon Stapelton | Reuters

Entire neighborhoods reduced to ashes

In this aerial view from a drone, homes destroyed by fire are shown on September 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Oregon. Hundreds of homes in the town have been lost due to wildfire.

David Ryder | Getty Images

Death toll expected to climb in coming days

Search and rescue personnel from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office look for the possible remains of a missing elderly resident in a mobile home park that was destroyed by wildfire on September 11, 2020 in Ashland, Oregon.

David Ryder | Getty Images

Resident surveys the remnants of her home

Resident Margi Wyatt arrives to find her mobile home destroyed by wildfire after she and her husband evacuated from the R.V. park earlier in the week, in Estacada, Oregon September 12, 2020.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

The frame of a burned car is seen by the Oak Park Motel

The carcass of a burned car is seen by the Oak Park Motel destroyed by the flames of the Beachie Creek Fire in Gates, east of Salem, Oregon on September 13, 2020.

Rob Schumacher | AFP | Getty Images

Fire retardant seen from above over a destroyed homes

Red fire retardant blankets burned residences, vehicles and a swimming pool in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon, U.S., September 13, 2020.

Adrees Latif | Reuters

A family sifts through the debris of their home

The Webber family search for belongings through their home, which was gutted by the Almeda fire, in Talent, Oregon, U.S., September 13, 2020.

Adrees Latif | Reuters

Residents return to evacuated homes to find items looted

James Smith hugs his dog Rose after returning to his evacuated home to find looters had stolen his motorcycles, September 12, 2020 in Estacada, Oregon.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Downed power lines in a destroyed neighborhood

A downed power pole blocks a road in a neighborhood destroyed by wildfire on September 13, 2020 in Talent, Oregon. Hundreds of homes in Talent and nearby towns have been lost due to wildfire.

David Ryder | Getty Images

A resident surveys the remains of his home

A man surveys the damage to a home owned by his son in a mobile home park on September 11, 2020 in Ashland, Oregon.

David Ryder | Getty Images

A donations center is set up by volunteers at an evacuation site

A donation drop-off and pick-up station set up by volunteers is seen at an evacuation site in the parking lot of the Clackamas Town Center in Happy Valley, Oregon, on September 11, 2020.

Mattieu Lewis-Rolland | AFP | Getty Images

Heavy smoke fills the streets as a pedestrian crosses

A man walk around the town where about 10,000 residents were evacuated as the fire continues, in Molalla, Oregon, U.S., September 11, 2020.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

An angel figurine salvaged from a destroyed home

Don Bedford holds an angel figurine he salvaged from his girlfriends burnt home in a mobile home park on September 11, 2020 in Ashland, Oregon.

David Ryder | Getty Images

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