Story at a glance

  • California’s Beckwourth Complex Fire is the product of two lightning-ignited fires that combined.
  • The fire has spread to 86,076 acres, making it the state’s largest wildfire this year.
  • Death Valley’s temperature reached 130 degrees on Friday, beating the previous record-high for July 9 in the area of 129 degrees in 1913.

Severe heat and the state’s largest wildfire this year are ravaging California as it continues to contend with oppressive heat waves.

California’s Beckwourth Complex fire is the product of two fires ignited by lightning on July 2 and 3 that then combined. Since ignition, the fire has spread to 86,076 acres, with the state’s high temperatures, dry conditions and gusts of wind reaching 20 mph, further strengthening the fire and its reach.

InciWeb reports that even with a fire personnel of 2,326, only 23 percent of the fire was contained as of July 11 due to the extreme and tumultuous conditions.


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Meanwhile, Death Valley saw record-breaking temperatures going into the weekend.

On Friday, Death Valley’s high temperature reached 130 degrees, beating the previous record high for July 9 in the area of 129 degrees in 1913.

The new daily-high record was only 4 degrees below the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, a title also held by Death Valley, of 134 degrees on July 10, 1913.

According to Accuweather, the average temperature in Death Valley this time of year is 116 degrees, but the area is experiencing surges in heat of an 8-degree average above the norm.


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Published on Jul 12, 2021