US faces ‘dangerous’ heat wave as fires burn in West, UN issues climate warning

Forecasters are warning Americans to prepare for another extreme heat wave this week, as 107 large wildfires burn across nearly 2.3 million acres of the western United States.

Driving the news: “Widespread air quality alerts and scattered red flag warnings extend from the northwest and north of the Rockies to the High Plains, as well as parts of central California, “the National said on Sunday. Weather Service.

“It will be a truly oppressive week with dangerous heat and hot conditions across much of the United States. are in effect for much of the south-central United States and parts of western New York State. “

– NWS

Inventory: The massive wildfires were burning in 15 states on Sunday – with already dangerous weather conditions in several places, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

  • The Dixie Fire, the second largest fire in California in state history, is the largest fire currently burning in the United States. It destroyed 627 buildings, damaged 42 other structures and razed 489,287 acres on Sunday night.
  • “Near critical conditions with wind gusts of up to 45 mph have been reported in north central Montana and up to 30 mph in eastern Oregon,” the NIFC noted in its statement.
  • “These winds caused active fire behavior on the Whitmore, Green Ridge, Black Butte, Thorne Creek and Woods Creek fires. Heavy smoke continues to blanket California, although numerous wildfires were active in late summer. ‘afternoon.”

In numbers : According to the NIFC on Sunday, 25 large fires were burning in Montana, 20 in Idaho, 16 in Oregon, 13 in Washington state, 11 in California, 10 in Alaska and four in Wyoming.

  • Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and New Mexico have each reported a large fire.

What to watch: “The fire outlook continues to reflect warmer, drier conditions leading to a high potential for intense forest fire activity throughout the western United States during the remainder of the summer and into the fall, ”according to the NIFC.

  • “Widespread high temperatures observed in western regions and with periods of lightning activity continue to exacerbate the forest fire situation.”

The big picture: The past few months have already seen an unprecedented deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, with wildfires well ahead of the peak of the fire season.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with details from the UN Climate Report.

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