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US firemen fighting wildfire spanning an area larger than Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES : The large wildfire scorching the western US state of Oregon topped 121,400ha on Monday.

Oregon's giant Bootleg Fire has triggered over 2,100 evacuations and destroyed 67 homes in nearly two weeks of explosive growth, regularly forcing back firefighters who have contained just a quarter of its perimeter.

"We are running firefighting operations through the day and all through the night," said firefighter commander Joe Hessel in a statement.

"This fire is a real challenge, and we are looking at a sustained battle for the foreseeable future."

The largest inferno in the United States - now spanning an area larger than Los Angeles - has come unusually early in the fire season, driven by multi-year drought, gusty winds and a scorching start to the summer that experts have linked to climate change.

Some 80 large fires are burning across the US, having torched more than 400,000ha in addition to massive blazes continuing to spread north of the border in Canada.

In western Canada's British Columbia, where around 300 wildfires are burning, more than 2,500 homes were under evacuation orders on Monday. The province has recorded 13 new fires in the past 48 hours. - AFP

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