Heat, drought complicating response to western fires

Weather

(NewsNation Now) — Multiple fires are burning in several western states in some of the driest conditions on record. The heat isn’t expected to let up and could pave the way for more fires.

Firefighters in Arizona are stepping up their fight against the Telegraph Fire, where more than 180,000 acres have burned since June 4. It began near Superior, Arizona, east of Phoenix.

North of Perkinsville, Arizona, time lapse video shows smoke billowing from a wildfire which has scorched nearly 22,000 acres. 

In the northwest part of the state, officials say heat is a factor in the death of a 53-year-old Ohio woman who was backpacking in the Grand Canyon. She and her group made it halfway to the bottom – where she became unconscious and died before help could reach her.

Officials there are warning tourists that temperatures are typically 20-degrees hotter at the bottom of the canyon, where many hikers go.

Wind in Oregon is driving a wildfire near Mount Hood on Warm Springs Reservation southeast of Portland. It’s burning over 6,200 acres.

In Utah, nine wildfires are burning in conditions described as the driest in Utah’s recorded history. The Flatt Fire has spread to more than 14,000 acres and is 50% contained.

The Bear Fire, which started on June 8, has burned more than 12,000 acres and is 93% contained.

And in California, illegal fireworks are blamed for starting a fire in Fresno County among baking hot and dry conditions.

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