As another heat wave swept through the western United States, firefighters worked hard to contain the wildfires in Northern California that exploded in hot temperatures, prompting overheating warnings in inland and desert areas.
According to readings by the National Weather Service in Furnace Creek, Death Valley in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California reached 53 degrees Celsius (127 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday. The shocking high temperature is actually lower than the previous 54 degrees Celsius (129 degrees Fahrenheit).
If confirmed to be accurate, the 54C reading will be the highest recorded since July 1913, when the Furnace Creek Desert reached 57C (135F), which is considered the highest temperature measured on earth.
About 483 kilometers (300 miles) northwest of the scorching desert, California’s largest wildfire this year is raging along the border with Nevada. Beckwourth Complex Fire-a fire caused by two lightning strikes burned 72 kilometers (45 miles) north of Lake Tahoe-after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday, there is no sign of moving northeast from the Sierra Nevada The momentum of the spread has slowed down.
On Saturday, a wildfire in southern Oregon, driven by strong winds, doubled to 311 square kilometers (120 square miles) as it was in Fremont-Vine near the town of Sprague River in Klamath County Thick wood passes through the Ma National Forest.
The California independent system operator warned that the potential power shortage is not only due to rising temperatures, but also because a wildfire in southern Oregon is threatening the transmission lines that carry imported power to California.
In Southern California, a large burning rig in eastern San Diego County sparked a bushfire on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of two Native American reservations.
In north-central Arizona, Yavapai County on Saturday lifted its evacuation warning for the unincorporated town of Black Canyon City, 66 kilometers (43 miles) north of Phoenix, after fires in nearby mountains no longer pose a threat.
According to local media reports, in Mojave County, Arizona, two firefighters died on the same day after a plane they were flying in crashed in response to a small wildfire.
A wildfire in southeastern Washington spread to nearly 155 square kilometers (60 square miles) because it darkened grass and wood as it entered the Umatilla National Forest.
In Idaho, Governor Brad Little declared a wildfire emergency on Friday and mobilized the state’s National Guard to help extinguish fires caused by thunderstorms that swept through dry areas.