Smoke chokes West Coast as wildfire deaths keep climbing

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Smoke from the Creek Fire billows beyond a ridge as seen from Huntington Lake on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, at Huntington Lake, Calif. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee via AP)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Wildfire smoke that poses a health hazard to millions is choking the West Coast as firefighters battle deadly blazes. The flames have obliterated some towns and displaced tens of thousands of people in California and Oregon. Many people who still have homes are not safe in them. A half-million Oregonians are under evacuation warnings or orders to leave. With air contamination levels at historic highs, people are stuffing towels against door jambs to keep smoke out. Some even wear N95 masks in their own homes. The death toll stands at 31 in the region and is expected to rise.

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