Skies over a small town in Oregon turned blood red as wildfires caused by felled power lines continue to ravage the region.
Video shared on Twitter shows the skies glowing a red colour in the city of Stayton light something out of a science-fiction film.
“You can see the red hue, the red-orange glow in the sky. There is ash, falling visibly in front of the headlights of the car.
“But downtown, basically, empty here beside a few people walking around.
“The smell of smoke is heavy and Exit 13 on highway 32 is where a roadblock is, so you can’t go any further than that.
“This is what downtown Stayton looks like, right now, at 12:22pm.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said the incident is “proving to be an unprecedented and significant fire event for our state”.
So far, an estimated 200,000 acres of land has been scorched.
Marion County officials said on Tuesday that wildfires terrorising the Santiam Canyon were started by falling trees that knocked down power lines and ignited small fires that grew on high winds.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has set a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning “get set to go”, for Stayton but a mandatory evacuation for most of the towns in the Santiam Canyon.
Carrol Connolly, a spokeswoman for Northwest Coordination Center, said: “The priority right now is getting folks out of the area.
“This is about saving lives. And while we are taking firefighting actions, we can’t put firefighters in the way of a fire on 50 mph winds, or a position that they can’t get out of.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Tyler Kranz said the wind gust went up to 50mph on Tuesday and slowed down gradually throughout the day.
He explained: “But it’s not until Wednesday when the winds die down and even then, the fire weather doesn’t improve much until Thursday.”