As a heat wave sweeps over the western United States, fires rage in many states.


As a heat wave sweeps over the western United States, fires rage in many states.

Firefighters are battling a Northern California wildfire that is still growing in the sweltering weather.

The fire is one of several huge fires raging throughout the US West in the midst of yet another heat wave that has broken records and put strain on power networks.

On Saturday in remote Mohave County, Arizona, a small plane crashed while surveying a wildfire, killing both crew members on board.

When the Beech C-90 plane went down around midday, it was performing reconnaissance over the lightning-caused Cedar Basin Fire, which was burning near the tiny village of Wikieup north of Phoenix.

After a huge wildfire in southern Oregon knocked out interstate power lines, blocking up to 5,500 megawatts of electricity from flowing south into the state, officials in California ordered all households to cut power consumption as soon as possible.

The Bootleg Fire shut down three transmission lines, putting a pressure on electrical supply as temperatures in the area climbed, according to the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s power infrastructure.

The wildfire grew to 224 square miles as it raced across dense forest in Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest, near the Klamath County hamlet of Sprague River, pushed by high winds.

To the south, California’s largest wildfire of the year was roaring near the Nevada border. After doubling in size between Friday and Saturday, the Beckwourth Complex Fire – a combination of two lightning-caused blazes burning 45 miles north of Lake Tahoe – showed no signs of halting its rush north-east from the Sierra Nevada forest region.

Flames engulfed US 395, which was halted near the small hamlet of Doyle in California’s Lassen County, late Saturday. On Sunday, the lanes reopened, with officials urging vehicles to exercise caution and keep traveling along the critical north-south road where flames were still active.

“Do not stop to take pictures,” urged Jake Cagle, Operations Section Chief of the fire department. “If you stop and look at what’s going on, you’re going to obstruct our operations.”

As a high-pressure zone blanketed the region, many flames threatening homes throughout Western states were forecast to endure triple-digit heat into the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, Death Valley in the Mojave Desert of south-eastern California reached 53 degrees on Saturday. The summary comes to a close.


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