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California wildfires rage as scorching heat wave continues

Two wildfires burning in Northern California’s Siskiyou County, close to the Oregon border, have affected a large number of people and destoryed a lot more than 100 homes as a dangerous heat wave roasts the U.S. West.

The most recent: Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue said at a Sunday community meeting at a school close to the fire-ravaged Weed that two different people had died in the Miil Fire that tore through the rural Northern California community, per AP.

 The Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Weed, Calif., is surrounded by police tape, Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022, after being destroyed in yesterday's Miil Fire.
The Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Weed surrounded by police tape on Saturday after being destroyed in the Miil Fire. Photo: Karl Mondon/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Driving the news headlines: An intense heat dome has sparked what could possibly be, in many elements of the West, the longest-lasting heat wave of the summertime with record-breaking temperatures.

  • The heat wave is expected to break daily, monthly and also all-time records over the region and poses challenging to the electrical grids.
  • “This is actually the worst September heat wave in Western USA history, without doubt,” weather historian Maximiliano Herrera tweeted on Saturday.

State of play: Excessive heat warnings come in effect for large swaths of California, with temperatures likely to peak on Monday and Tuesday and highs continuing through the week, the National Weather Service Sacramento tweeted on Sunday.

  • The Sacramento Valley could see temperatures 108-115F this week, NWS tweeted.
  • Two fires the Mill Fire and Mountain Fire have already been burning in Siskiyou County since Friday, per the Washington Post.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Siskiyou County to greatly help “support the reaction to the rapidly-spreading Mill Fire.”
  • A great many other fires continue steadily to burn throughout California and the chance for new fires remains high. The Border 32 Fire in NORTH PARK County has burned 4,438 acres by Sunday morning and is 80% contained, as the Route Fire in LA County has burned 5,208 acres up to now and is 91% contained.

The picture as a whole: By Sunday morning, the Mill Fire has burned 4,254 acres and is 25% contained, in accordance with CalFire.

  • The Mountain Fire has burned 6,451 acres and is 5% contained, in accordance with another CalFire update Sunday morning.
  • The fires have destroyed at the very least 100 homes and continue steadily to threaten hundreds more, the Sacramento Bee reported, noting that at the very least three folks have been injured in the Mill Fire.
  • The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued evacuation orders for residents of the towns of Weed, Lake Shastina and Edgewood.
  • The Mill and Mountain Fires are coming on the trunk of the McKinney Fire last month, which also burned through Siskiyou County and became the state’s largest wildfire of the entire year.

Context: Studies also show that human-caused climate change is really a main factor in wildfire risk.

  • Research indicates that heat waves like this one have become more intense, frequent and more durable because of global warming.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Andrew Freedman: This fire and also other blazes in the West are igniting throughout a record-shattering heat wave which has already set milestones for the latest temperatures seen during September.

  • Heat is further blow drying the already patched landscape, resulting in the prospect of rapid fire spread.
  • Heat wave is forecast to are more intense on Labor Day through midweek in California specifically, with highs in the 110s possible in the Central Valley region.
  • Red flag warnings come in effect for multiple states on Sunday, from California to Montana.

Editor’s note: It is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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