26 August, 2016
Fires in the western United States have burned thousands of hectares of land. The fires have forced people to leave their homes in California and in the state of Washington.
The National Interagency Fire Center reported 32 fires in the western states. Seven new fires were reported by the middle of the week. Hot, dry winds this week have helped spread the fires.
The area around the city of Spokane, Washington is the center of firefighting efforts. Firefighter reinforcements have arrived in the area. Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in 20 counties in Washington.
The governor linked the latest fires to climate change and dead trees in the area's forests.
Firefighters in California's San Luis Obispo County have controlled a part of the 15,000-hectare fire. That fire is burning in Central California. It was threatening the historic Hearst Castle. The castle was home to William Randolph Hearst, a famous American newspaper publisher in the first half of the Twentieth Century.
By Tuesday, officials said the castle was no longer in danger from the fire. A shift in the wind pushed the blaze away from the castle.
Investigators in Southern California searched for the cause of a huge fire in San Bernardino County. That fire burned for about one week. The blaze destroyed more than 100 homes and 200 buildings.
Officials said the so-called Blue Cut fire was under control Tuesday.
Small fires burned in two popular national parks in Wyoming. One fire closed a main road at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Another fire stopped traffic on a 20-kilometer area of a road in Grand Teton National Park. At Grand Teton, people were asked to leave at least one campground because of the threat of fire.
I'm Dan Friedell.
The staff at VOA News wrote this story. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
firefighting – n. stopping and putting out fires
counties – n. areas of a state or country that include several towns and cities
blaze – n. an intense and dangerous fire
campground – n. a place cleared in the forest for people to put up a tent or park a camper