Three firefighters have been killed in the western United States while battling one of several major wildfires in the region.
My heart breaks over the loss of life in the Twisp fire. We keep all firefighters in our prayers tonight
It’s thought their vehicle was probably involved in an accident before being overcome by the flames. Another four were injured.
The blaze was threatening the town of Twisp in Washington state. The state governor Jay Inslee has called for a federal declaration of emergency which would free up resources to cover firefighting costs.
There have been moves to evacuate about 4,000 homes in Twisp and Winthrop, two towns in Washington’s Cascade mountains.
Strong winds are forecast to fan the flames further over the next two days.
All industrial forest activities including timbering and road construction are being halted in Washington’s affected areas.
Homes have also been destroyed or evacuated in Oregon, Idaho and California.
The wildfires have blackened more than a million acres across the arid Western region.
Nationally, the total area burned by wildfires in 2015 reached seven million acres this week – the earliest time of the year that has happened in two decades.