LOS ANGELES — Wildfires that torched homes and forced thousands to evacuate burned across 10 parched Western states today (July 13), and the largest, in Oregon, threatened California’s power supply, according to an Associated Press report.
Nearly 60 wildfires tore through bone-dry timber and brush from Alaska to Wyoming, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Arizona, Idaho and Montana accounted for more than half of the large active fires.
The fires erupted as the West was in the grip of the second bout of dangerously high temperatures in just a few weeks. A climate change-fueled megadrought also is contributing to conditions that make fires even more dangerous, scientists say.
The National Weather Service says the heat wave appeared to have peaked in many areas, and excessive-heat warnings were largely expected to expire by Tuesday. However, they continued into Tuesday night in some California deserts, and many areas were still expected to see high in the 80s and 90s.