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‘Oregon looks like Mars’: Wildfire photos show apocalyptic red skies

Click to play video 'Oregon wildfires: Flames engulf highway as man evacuates from fires' Oregon wildfires: Flames engulf highway as man evacuates from fires
WATCH: A man forced to flee two large wildfires in Lincoln County, Ore., on Wednesday filmed his harrowing evacuation as he drove down the Oregon 18 highway, with fire seen on both sides of the road consuming trees.

Startling images from Oregon this week show otherworldly red-orange skies hanging over parts of the state, where devastating wildfires have destroyed hundreds of homes and driven thousands of people from their communities.

The state is now under a state of emergency and fires are burning over 1,300 square kilometres amid extremely hot and windy weather that is only making the problem worse.

Gov. Kate Brown says at least five towns have been destroyed, none of the fires are contained and there is no weather relief in the forecast.

“This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” she said Wednesday.

Read more: Recent wildfires, storms, heatwaves a direct result of climate change, scientists say

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Social media users are drawing parallels between the wildfires in Oregon and Hollywood films set on Mars, as footage from the state reveals the weather-changing devastation wrought by the flames.

Several people in Salem, the state’s capital, shared photos and videos of the red sky on Tuesday morning.

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Many users shared photos from the fire alongside still images from Blade Runner 2049, the dystopian sci-fi film by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. The latter half of the film is set on the dusty, windswept surface of the Red Planet.

“Crazy how Oregon is literally Blade Runner 2049,” one user wrote on Wednesday, in a tweet featuring stills from the movie and actual photos from Salem, Ore.

The fires have hit at an already turbulent moment in Oregon. The state’s largest city, Portland, has been wracked by protests for months amid the broader anti-racism and police brutality conversations in the United States.

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Five major fires were burning in the western part of Oregon on Thursday. One tore along a highway route in the southwestern corner of the state, wiping out towns as it went. The massive Holiday Farm Fire threatened the city of Eugene to its west, and three major fires were still burning in the hills and forests near Salem to the north.

Read more: Wildfires raging across Oregon, Washington may cause historic destruction, officials say

Oregon’s West Coast neighbours, Washington and California, are also grappling with their own devastating wildfire outbreaks.

San Francisco also drew Blade Runner 2049 comparisons with its eerie orange skies on Wednesday.

Eli Harik of San Francisco wears a mask while looking up at the dark orange sky hanging over the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 due to multiple wildfires burning across California and Oregon.
Eli Harik of San Francisco wears a mask while looking up at the dark orange sky hanging over the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 due to multiple wildfires burning across California and Oregon. Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

One of the California fires was triggered by a gender reveal stunt, officials say.

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