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Friday, July 19, 2024

Further evacuation orders, temperature to reach 47 degrees

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As wildfires continue to rage across California, 30,000 residents of the state have been ordered to evacuate. High temperatures are making it difficult to fight the blazes. On Friday, nearly half of the U.S. population was under heat warnings.

The Butte County town of Oroville canceled its July 4 Independence Day fireworks show, fearing it could start another fire. “The last thing we need is someone buying fireworks and doing something stupid,” said Sheriff Kory Honea. “Don’t be an idiot, don’t start a fire and cause more problems for us,” he said, noting that there have been four fires in the area in recent weeks.

A wildfire broke out in Mariposa County on Thursday and quickly engulfed a large area. It burned more than 700 acres and was still spreading Friday. Evacuation orders were issued for area residents, including the city of Mariposa. The severe weather is hampering firefighting efforts. The situation is being exacerbated by an intense heat wave and strong winds.

Fire in Simi Valley area of ​​Ventura CountyPAP/EPA/ALLISON DINNER

California’s recently begun wildfire season typically lasts through October, but the intensity of wildfires has increased in recent years. Areas burned by summer fires in northern and central California have increased fivefold between 1996 and 2021 compared to the previous 24 years. Scientists attribute this to human-induced climate change.

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Heat warnings

Heat warnings were in effect Friday from New Orleans south to New York City. The weekend's hottest stretch is expected to see multiple daily, monthly, and even historic temperature records broken in many locations.

In Las Vegas, temperatures are expected to reach 47 degrees Celsius from Sunday, while in California's Death Valley it could even reach 53 degrees.

Read also: 10-year-old boy dies after hiking, hospitalized in “extremely critical condition”

Main image source: PAP/EPA/ALLISON DINNER

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