A 1-year-old boy is among at least seven people to have died in wildfires burning hundreds of thousands of acres in the Northwest U.S. this week, officials in Okanogan County, Washington, confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: Powerful winds are fueling scores of fires as thousands of people remain under evacuation orders in California, Washington state and Oregon.

In California, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Wednesday at least three people died in the Bear Fire that began in a remote region of the state's north — triggering evacuation orders for 20,000 residents, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

  • California firefighters are battling more than two dozen blazes, which are prompting road closures and causing poor air quality in the state's south — where potentially lung-damaging fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been observed.

In Oregon, Sheriff Joe Kast said Wednesday two bodies had been found in a vehicle in Marion County, where the Santiam Fire has burned some 159,000 acres, the Statesman Journal notes.

  • The Almeda Fire that began Tuesday at Medford has killed at least one person after sweeping through Ashland through Talent and Phoenix, Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler said, KDRV reports. Some residents were under partial evacuation Tuesday night.
  • Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in this blaze, the New York Times notes. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said, "This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history."

In Washington, Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley said the parents of the 1-year-old boy killed in the Cold Springs Fire that's burned about 163,000 acres were being treated in hospital for third-degree burns after being found near the wildfire, per the Seattle Times.

  • Gov. Jay Inslee (D) took a 30-minute tour of Sumner, south of Seattle, where the 800-acre Sumner Grade Fire that's 20% contained destroyed four homes, King-TV reports.
  • Inslee noted that the blaze was "just one example of probably the most catastrophic fires we've had in the history of the state."

Of note: California's wildfires have burned more land in the state than any other year on record — almost 2.3 million acres, per Cal Fire.

  • Eight people have been killed by flames and 4,311 structures destroyed or damaged in California this year, according to Cal Fire.

Go deeper: In photos: San Francisco Bay Area enveloped in smoke as wildfires rage across California

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from the fires and further context.

Go deeper

Trump supporters rally at polling place during early voting in Virginia

People stand on line, spaced six apart due to COVID-19, in order to vote early at the Fairfax Government Center on Friday in Fairfax, Virginia. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump descended on a polling place in Fairfax, Virginia, Saturday, chanting "four more years," as early voting continued in the state for a second day, video from the scene shows.

Driving the news: While the group did not directly block the Fairfax County Government Center entrance, some voters and elections staff "did feel intimidated by the crowd and we did provide escorts past the group," an official said, per the New York Times.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 31,647,930 — Total deaths: 971,711 Total recoveries: 21,776,599Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,897,661 — Total deaths: 200,818 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: Hospitals want more time to repay pandemic loans — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Business: The high-wage jobs aren't coming back
  5. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
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