Firefighters battled a rising fire in northern California at scorching temperatures as another heat wave hit the western United States this weekend, prompting excessive heat warning for indoor areas and deserts.
California Death Valley National Park, about 177 kilometers (110 miles) west of Las Vegas, in neighboring Nevada, recorded a high of 54 Celsius on Friday and was expected to reach the same temperature on Saturday.
If checked, the temperature reading would be the highest maximum recorded there since July 1913, when the same area of the Furnace Creek Desert touched 57C (134F), considered the most reliably measured temperature on earth.
The Beckwourth complex, two lightning fires burning 72 km (45 miles) north of Lake Tahoe, showed no signs of slowing the northeastern Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday.
Local newspaper The Mercury News reported that about 1,300 troops were deployed on Saturday to prevent the flames from reaching populated areas close to the flame, while some evacuations had been ordered.
The National Weather Service’s (NWS) Weather Forecast Center said Friday morning on Twitter that the “record heat” was expected to affect “much of the West and Southwest” over the weekend.
“Currently, more than 31 million people are subject to a heat warning or an excess heat warning. Highs of up to three digits could threaten Las Vegas’ historic 117F temperature record, ”the center said.
Mountainous areas of northern California have already seen several large fires that have destroyed more than a dozen homes.
Although there are no confirmed reports of damage to the building, the fire caused evacuation orders or warnings for approximately 2,800 people along with the closure of about 518 square kilometers (200 square miles) of Plumas National Forest. .
The flames arrive a few weeks after the northwestern US and the west coast of Canada were hit by record temperatures late last month, prompting authorities in both countries to open cooling centers and urge residents to stay cool inland.
This weekend, the record heat will affect much of the west and southwest. Currently, more than 31 million people are subject to a heat warning or excessive heat warning. Highs of up to three digits could threaten Las Vegas’ record high temperature of 117 ° F. pic.twitter.com/vP4NXEeKGh
– NWS Weather Forecast Center (@NWSWPC) July 9, 2021
The heat wave contributed hundreds of dead only in the province of British Columbia, officials said.
Experts have said climate change fuels more extreme weather events, such as forest fires and heat waves, and some have urged U.S. President Joe Biden to adopt an ambitious long-term strategy for reduce the risk of devastating forest fires.
Potentially record weekend temperatures on the west coast of the United States come after the hottest June 127-year record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).
Eight states recorded the hottest June recorded this year, while another six recorded their second hottest, NOAA said.
Back in California on Friday, the rising hot air formed a giant cloud of smoky pyrocumulus that reached thousands of feet high and created its own lightning, the fire intelligence agent said. Lisa Cox.
Occasional fires caused by embers jumped up to 1.6 kilometers in front of the northeast flank – too far away for firefighters to fight safely – and winds channeled fires and canyons full of dry fuel, where “in it can actually increase speed, ”Cox said.
Firefighters often take advantage of cooler, wetter nights to advance a fire, Cox said, but the heat and low humidity never stopped.
The air was so dry that some of the water dropped by the planes evaporated before reaching the ground, he added. “We expect more of the same the next day and the next day and the next day,” Cox said.
The NWS Weather Forecast Center as well dit on Saturday that, even if temperatures don’t break records, “widespread, oppressive and enduring heat remains a threat.”