WILD

This year’s devastating wildfire season in the American west, in photos

A wildfire as seen from near Stevenson, Washington, across the Columbia River, burning in the Columbia River Gorge.
A wildfire as seen from near Stevenson, Washington, across the Columbia River, burning in the Columbia River Gorge.
Image: Tristan Fortsch/KATU-TV via AP
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As a series of deadly hurricanes have made landfall throughout the US and the Gulf of Mexico, wildfires have gripped Washington and Oregon, two states in the west that are currently dealing with more than a dozen separate wildfires.

Fires have burned through almost a million acres between the two states so far in 2017, according to figures provided to Quartz (as of Sept. 7) from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. That’s up from the 2016 total of 513, 226 acres, though both 2015 and 2014 each saw more than a million acres affected by fires.

This summer’s wildfire season produced terrifying images. Smoke and ash even turned typically lush cities like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington a hazy yellow reminiscent of Beijing’s signature smog (though weather patterns in the past few days improved air quality).

A helicopter with a water bucket flies through dense smoke near Stevenson, Washington on Wednesday (Sept. 6) while battling the Eagle Creek wildfire on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.
A helicopter with a water bucket flies through dense smoke near Stevenson, Washington on Wednesday (Sept. 6) while battling the Eagle Creek wildfire on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.
Image: AP Photo/Randy L. Rasmussen
The Eagle Creek wildfire as seen from Stevenson, Washington, across the Columbia River, on Tuesday (Sept. 5).
The Eagle Creek wildfire as seen from Stevenson, Washington, across the Columbia River, on Tuesday (Sept. 5).
Image: Tristan Fortsch/KATU-TV via AP
The Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington, on Monday (Sept. 4).
The Eagle Creek wildfire burns as golfers play at the Beacon Rock Golf Course in North Bonneville, Washington, on Monday (Sept. 4).
Image: Reuters/Kristi McCluer
Cascade Locks, Oregon is inundated with smoke from the nearby Eagle Creek wildfire on Wednesday (Sept. 6).
Cascade Locks, Oregon is inundated with smoke from the nearby Eagle Creek wildfire on Wednesday (Sept. 6).
Image: AP Photo/Randy L. Rasmussen
Portland, Oregon is trapped under with smoke from wildfires burning in the Columbia River Gorge east of the city on Wednesday (Sept. 6).
Portland, Oregon is trapped under with smoke from wildfires burning in the Columbia River Gorge east of the city on Wednesday (Sept. 6).
Image: AP Photo/Don Ryan
Firefighters wet down an area that was burned by a wildfire on Sunday (Sept. 3), along Interstate Highway 5 in Tacoma, Washington.
Firefighters wet down an area that was burned by a wildfire on Sunday (Sept. 3), along Interstate Highway 5 in Tacoma, Washington.
Image: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren