A 12 year-old boy died next to his beloved pet dog after trying to escape from a huge wildfire that engulfed his home in rural Oregon. Wyatte Tofte’s remains were discovered next to those of his dog after the blaze swept through the town of Lyons on Wednesday.
Wyate and his dog and fled their home as the blaze, which has been named the Santiam Fire, approached. The youngster’s cousin Melissa Cary making a haunting plea for help finding Wyatte on Facebook before his body was discovered.
Wyatte’s grandma Peggy Mosso also perished in the fire on Wednesday, and his mother Melissa Mosso is receiving treatment at a hospital in Portland for severe burns.
Wyatte’s uncle Lonnie Bertalotto paid tribute to his late mother and nephew on Facebook, and wrote: ‘Don’t take anything in life for granted and make the best of everyday.’ Local theme park The Enchanted Forest – which was created by Wyatte’s great grandad Roger Tofte, and remains in his family’s ownership, also paid tribute to its lost loved ones.
A Facebook post said Wyatte was ‘loved and adored by all his family and friends’ and that Peggy was ‘a loved and important member of our extended family.’
Wildfires in Oregon have forced more than half a million people – 10% of the state’s population – to evacuate their homes across the Pacific Northwest state.
Fires have also swept California and Washington state, leaving at least 23 people dead across the US west coast.
San Francisco has been bathed in an eerie yellow-orange light, with Twitter users likening it to a scene from dystopian sci-fi film Blade Runner 2049.
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