Story at a glance

  • The historic heat wave plaguing the Pacific Northwest has led to a surge in wildfires.
  • The dry conditions have led to wildfires in California, Arizona, and Oregon, among other states.
  • In California, the Lava Fire has already burned more than 13,300 acres and is only 19 percent contained.

The historic heat wave plaguing the Pacific Northwest has led to extreme drought and a surge in wildfires.

As temperatures have hit extreme, record-breaking highs, the dry conditions have led to wildfires in California, Arizona, and Oregon, among other states.

In California, the Lava Fire has been raging since lightning ignited the dry area of Siskiyou County on Friday. The fire continues to spread among the devastating conditions, burning more than 13,300 acres with only 19 percent of it contained as of publishing.

There are more than 20 wildfires burning in Arizona at this time.


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“The drought situation in the western United States continued to worsen after another mostly hot and dry week,” the U.S. Drought Monitor said in an update last week. “Wildfires and increasing wildfire danger, water restrictions, and damage to agriculture are very common across the west region.”

Across the Pacific Northwest, the extreme heat is causing additional issues. On Monday, Portland hit a high of 116 degrees, while in Seattle, the temperature reached a high of 108. 

Two people from Washington state, a 65-year-old woman from Seattle and a 68-year-old woman from Enumclaw, died of hyperthermia on Monday amid the deadly heat, according to the Seattle Times.

“This is the beginning of a permanent emergency,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told MSNBC. “We have to tackle the source of this problem, which is climate change.”


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Published on Jun 30, 2021