Shocking new photos show the scale of devastation from California‘s wildfires, which have raged throughout the state and – in the case of the Creek Fire – burned homes and businesses to the ground.
In Washington state, too, the majority of a town was destroyed by wildfires – Malden, home to 300 people, was 80 percent destroyed.
And in Oregon, 80,000 people were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday as wildfires blazed out of control.
On Tuesday the first images emerged from the Creek Fire, which is still burning in northern California.
The fire started on Friday night and in three days has burnt 152,833 acres, according to Cal Fire.
They reported that 65 homes, businesses and other structures have been destroyed so far.
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Outdoor furnituire stands next to a destroyed petrol station on State Route 168 after the Creek Fire passed though
Burnt out homes and cars are pictured in the Meadow Lakes area of California after the Creek Fire swept through
A police vehicle drives past a destroyed petrol station on State Route 168, which was devastated by the Creek Fire
Charred machinery, cars and buildings smolder in the Meadow Lakes area of California following the Creek Fire
A steady stream of vehicles heads west on a road east of Springfield, Oregon as residents evacuate the area on Tuesday
A person uses heavy equipment to put dirt on fire hotspots after a wildfire destroyed homes and outbuildings in Graham, Washington
Across California, 14,100 fire fighters were battling 25 separate blazes, which have collectively burned more than two million acres and left 172,000 people without power during a record heat wave in the drought-stricken state.
In Yosemite National Park, officials said evacuation orders could be issued soon as the Creek Fire drew near, casting an apocalyptic orange haze over the idyllic landscape.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday night declared a state of emergency as his hard-hit state struggled to beat back the blazes.
The Labor Day weekend heat wave fueled new fires that pushed the state to set a new record for number of acres burned with more than two million as of Monday.
The previous record was set just two years ago and included the deadliest fire in state history, the Camp Fire, which ripped through the town of Paradise and killed 85 people in November 2018.
Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said the new record was especially alarming because of how early in the year it was set.
‘It’s a little unnerving because September and October are historically our worst months for fires,’ Tolmachoff told AP.
‘It’s usually hot, and the fuels really dry out. And we see more of our wind events.’
California has seen 900 wildfires since August 15, many of them started by an intense series of thousands of lightning strikes in mid-August. There have been eight fire deaths and more than 3,300 structures destroyed.
Randy Moore, regional forester for the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region, warned that the blazes are expected to worsen in the coming days.
‘The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously,’ Moore told AP. ‘Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire.’
14,100 firefighters are battling 25 separate blazes in California. California has seen 900 wildfires since August 15
The Creek Fire started on Friday night and blazed through a swathe of northern California in the Sierra National Forest
It remains unclear how the Creek Fire started, but photos taken on Tuesday showed the devastation in the Meadow Lakes area
Meadow Lakes, a community in northern California, was left devastated by the Creek Fire, which began on Friday evening
A Pacific Gas and Electric Company truck drives past a destroyed petrol station on State Route 168 in northern California
The burnt wreckage of a car is pictured on Tuesday near Shaver Lake in northern California, after the Creek Fire
Smoke from the Creek Fire blots out the sun on Tuesday. Across large parts of California and Nevada the skies were orange
The rubble of a petrol station is pictured on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the Creek Fire in California
On Tuesday night, Cal Fire said that the Creek Fire had worsened in the previous 24 hours owing to strong winds.
‘The fire continued to grow under extreme conditions,’ they said in an update.
‘The Red Flag Warning for strong winds will impact the fire in the early morning, with stronger winds to come. The fire made wind driven runs and increased spotting distance.
‘Red Flag Warning in effect until 11 pm Tuesday for high temperatures, low humidity and high winds.’
A burned car sits completely destroyed after the Creek Fire swept through 152,833 acres of forests
A home is completely destroyed after the Creek Fire swept through the Shaver Lake area on Tuesday
The smoldering remains of Cressman’s General Store and Gas Station along CA-168, pictured on Tuesday after the Creek Fire
Firefighters (L-R) Rob Spitzer, Max Katay, Josiah Gist and Hunter Grossmann of the Rancheria Station rest on Tuesday
Burnt down cars are pictured on Tuesday amid the scorched smoldering trees after the passage of the Creek Fire
A burnt down old Cadillac rests amid the scorch smoldering trees in the Cascadel Woods of northern California
A fire fighter is pictured in California trying to beat back the Creek Fire on Tuesday in the north of the state
Despite 1,060 people working to put out the Creek Fire, as of Tuesday night it was still burning out of control in California
Boats at the Shaver Lake marina are pictured in an orange haze as the Creek Fire continued to blaze in the Californian area
On Tuesday night the Creek Fire was recorded as 0% contained, with 152,833 acres having burnt in three days
Workers from Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) watch as the Creek Fire continues to burn on Tuesday
In Washington state, the town of Malden was almost entirely destroyed.
Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said that 70-80 percent of homes in the town of 300 people have gone up in flames.
Local news network KREM showed pictured of the charred Malden post office, a fire still burning inside the gutted building.
The fire station, city hall and other buildings were also consumed, Myers said.
‘The scale of this disaster really can’t be expressed in words,’ he said.
‘The fire will be extinguished, but a community has been changed for a lifetime. I just hope we don’t find the fire took more than homes and buildings. I pray everyone got out in time.’
Larry Frick, who lives in Malden, told KXLY that he spent three hours to save his house amid the flames.
‘It’s gone, brother,’ he texted his sibling after the fire swept through.
‘The entire town is gone. Everything from here to Pine City is gone. The scariest time of my life.’
KREM said that at least nine wildfires were burning throughout the Inland Northwest on Monday, amid dry and windy conditions.
Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz tweeted on Monday evening that, ‘Today alone, almost 300,000 acres in Washington have burned.”
‘Thousands of homes are without power. Many families have had to evacuate their homes and many homes have been lost,’ Franz wrote.
‘We’re still seeing new fire starts in every corner of the state.’
hawn Thornton hugs his wife, Shannon Thornton, next to the rubble of their burned home in Malden, Washington, on Tuesday
Janet Conklin, mayor of Bridgeport, looks at what once was her husband’s grandfather’s Model A Ford after the Pearl Hill Fire
A fire extinguisher is pictured at a scenic overlook above Chief Joseph Dam after the Pearl Hill Fire roared through Monday
Shannon, left, and Shawn Thornton comb through the rubble of their burned garage in Malden, Washington on Tuesday
Lt. David Brown of the Colfax Fire Department uses a hose during a mop-up in Colfax, Washington on Tuesday
Hollie Jordan surveys her father’s service station that was destroyed by wildfire in Malden, Washington, on Tuesday. ‘This was filled with work and life and memories and it’s all gone,’ said Jordan
The smoldering wreckage of a home and yard is pictured in Malden, Washington, on Tuesday
A VW Beetle is charred and destroyed following the wildfire that swept through the Washington town of Malden
A commercial building that was destroyed by wildfire is pictured on Tuesday in Malden, Washington
Vehicles destroyed by a wildfire are shown on Tuesday in Malden, Washington
Oregon was also struggling to contain its own wildfires, which have devastated more than 230,000 acres, according to Governor Kate Brown.
On Tuesday evening she said her state was ‘in an unprecedented fire event.’
She added: ‘Several significant, growing fires across the state continue to spread due to hot, dry weather & high winds.
‘Oregonians’ lives are at risk. Follow evacuation orders, try to reduce your smoke exposure – and take care of each other.’
On Monday evening, the Oregon Climate Office tweeted: ‘Northwest Oregon is currently under an extremely critical fire weather warning.
‘This is only the second time ever that the Storm Prediction Center has ever issued one for anywhere within the state of Oregon.
‘The other time was August 29, 2006.’
A motorist is advised they cannot proceed east past a roadblock at the McKenzie Fire District Station in Leaburg, Oregon
A sign along Interstate 5 north of Eugene, Oregon, warns drivers on Tuesday that Highway 126 eastbound is closed
People walk by the Pacific Ocean coast as smoke from wildfires covers an area near Seal Rock, Oregon on Tuesday
Meanwhile, firefighters in Colorado were aided by the sudden, surprising arrival of snow.
Temperatures reached 101 degrees over the Labor Day weekend, and the Cameron Peak wildfire, which had burnt near Fort Collins, was casting an orange haze over the capital, Denver.
However, overnight temperatures plummeted 60 degrees, and residents awoke to find snow on their cars.
On Monday night the Cameron Peak Fire, which began on August 13 and has so far burned 96,462 acres, was expected to burn until Halloween.
The state had 829 people battling to contain the fire, and evacuations had been ordered.
Alex Avery brushes snow off his car in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday as the record temperatures in the west gave way to snow
After a weekend of record-setting heat topping off at 101 degrees, temperatures dropped more than 60 degrees
Megan Dillard plays in the snow in Vail, Colorado on Tuesday with, from left, Sammy, 4; Hayes, 1; and Donald, aged 3
Snow accumulates on a grill and kiddie pool in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday – after a Labor Day weekend of 101 degree heat
Firefighters in Colorado have been helped by the sudden, unexpected arrival of snow on Tuesday in the state
The Cameron Peak wildfire, near Fort Collins, Colorado, was blanketing Denver in orange haze until snow fell on Tuesday
Colorado National Guard members monitor a roadblock leading to the Cameron Peak wildfire as snow falls on Tuesday