As residents in Texas and Louisiana pick through the pieces of their shattered properties in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and as Florida braces for a record-breaking Hurricane Irma, little media attention has been on the devastation a number of western U.S. states are currently experiencing.
Nine western states are dealing with over 80 large wildfires, forcing evacuations and severely altering the landscapes of some of America’s favorite national parks. And the smoke cloud is so dense and widespread that it’s even edging its way into New England states over 2,500 miles away, according to Fox 2 Now out of St. Louis.
In Montana, the famous Sperry Chalet was destroyed by a fire. The Glacier National Park landmark, built in 1914, was famous for only being reachable by hikers, according to NPR. Other parts of what is arguably America’s most majestic national park are on fire.
Near Yosemite National Park in California, a wildfire tore through a grove of sequoias, some of America’s largest trees — and oldest at 2,700 years old. Thankfully, their fire-resistant bark kept them all alive.
In Oregon’s iconic Columbia River Gorge, 48 square miles of dense forest is burning, closing one of the main thoroughfares of the Pacific Northwest and prompting evacuations of multiple towns, according to The Oregonian. Numerous famous waterfall trails are ablaze, and the fire is so intense that burning embers have crossed the mile-wide Columbia River and set a blaze on the Washington state side.
Much of the Northwest is under an “unhealthy” air quality alert, with some regions like the northeastern Washington city of Spokane experience three days straight of “hazardous” levels of smoke in the air, according to the Spokesman-Review. Throughout several western states, skies are persistently orange or yellow as smoke engulfs cities and towns like a thick fog.
Further south, Los Angeles experienced one of their largest fire within city limits ever, the La Tuna fire near Burbank. Residents fled from their homes as thousands of houses were threatened by the blaze before it was contained, according to NBC News.
Please pray for the firefighters as they battle these blazes. Also pray for people dealing with the thick smoke and losses from the fires. Meanwhile, evangelist Franklin Graham is explaining how bad Hurricane Irma could be to the Sunshine State.