A 12-year-old boy and his beloved dog have been found dead together in the smouldering aftermath of a vast, fast-moving wildfire which continues to devastate the US.
The remains of the boy, Wyatt Tofte, and his dog were found in Lyons, Oregon after he attempted to escape the rapidly-growing blaze on foot.
Wildfires have burned over 200,000 acres of land in the state.
Wyatt’s grandmother, Peggy Mosso, has also been reported missing. At a press conference Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast reported she had also died.
However a later update from his colleague Sgt. Jeremy Landers said while deputies had found the remains of the boy and his dog they could not as yet confirm that 71-year-old Mrs Mosso had lost her life in the fire.
Sgt Landers blamed the confusion on conflicting information relayed from people at the scene.
Wyatt’s mother, Angela Mosso, 45, survived but is currently receiving critical care at Legacy Emanuel Hospital Burn Center in nearby Portland.
Wyatt’s great-grandfather founded the Enchanted Forest, an amusement park which has become something of a landmark in the state.
A post on the site’s Facebook page stated: “We are devastated to confirm that Wyatt Tofte has not survived.
“His grandmother, Peggy Mosso, was also taken. She was also a loved and important member of our extended family. We ask for privacy and love right now.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown said the fires have all but destroyed five small towns and that the authorities fear a “record number” of deaths.
“This could be the greatest loss in human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” she said.
Jody Evans fled as fires threatened the small town of Detroit, in Marion County. She told local television station NewsChannel21 that making her escape was “like driving through hell”.
Oregon has been the worst-hit state in the US west, with nearly 100 extreme wildfires stoked by high winds and temperatures ravaging homes and woodland alike.
Nearly 200 wildfires across nine western states are currently burning, an dat least seven people are known to have lost their lives.