Wildfires whipped through isolated communities in two states and left backcountry campers and hikers stranded, requiring helicopters to airlift more than 140 to safety, authorities said.

About 40 wildfires were burning in California alone. Blazes were also reported in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana. Smoke has been detected at least as far east as New Mexico.

The fires devastated some isolated communities. In Oregon, a fast-moving wildfire caused “catastrophic damage” and probably loss of life in the town of Blue River, east of Eugene, Lane County officials said. At least 80 to 100 homes burned, said County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky at an emergency commissioners meeting Tuesday.

“We expect that other homes and businesses within the fire area have burned,” Mokrohisky said. “And we should expect loss of life from this fire.”

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