Wildfires are spreading across the US West Coast. They have left 33 confirmed dead and dozens of people missing in the states of California, Washington and Oregon. Georgina and Catherine look at the vocabulary in the news around this story.

Video chapters
0:00 – Introduction
0:38 – The story
1:32- Headline 1: After 27 deaths in last week, West Cost firefighters brace again for tough conditions
4:06 – Headline 2: How climate change is fueling record-breaking California wildfires, heat and smog
6:16 – Headline 3: ‘It Is Apocalyptic’: Fear and Destruction Grip the West Coast
8:54 – Language summary

The Story

More people have died and thousands of others have had to abandon their homes as wildfires keep spreading across the West Coast of America.

There are 33 confirmed deaths and dozens of people are missing in the states of California, Washington and Oregon.

get ready physically or mentally for something bad

  • I braced myself for lots of job rejections but got offered the first one.
  • The weather was freezing so we braced ourselves before we opened the door.

type of air pollution often found in cities that makes it difficult to breathe

  • The smog is always worse in the summer.
  • We were really lucky when we visited as the smog wasn’t bad.

hold tightly

  • The election gripped the nation.
  • The film was gripping and I didn’t look away once.

To download the audio and test your understanding, go to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-15/session-160

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