The western United States and Canada prepare for another heat wave in more than 70 wildfires | Extreme Weather

The fourth scorching heat wave in five weeks will hit the western United States and Canada This weekend, as droughts and record-breaking temperatures related to the climate crisis have hit the area hard, wildfires have raged in an area larger than Rhode Island.

With the coming heat wave, 12 states are already fighting 71 active wildfiresAccording to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, the total fire area is approximately 1,562 square miles (4,047 square kilometers).

The biggest fire so far is still The fire of piracy In south central Oregon, it has been burning for 9 days, and Destroyed an area larger than New York City There is no sign of relaxation. As of Thursday morning, the fire was only 7% under control, and the cause of the fire is unclear.

Currently, nearly 2,000 houses are threatened by Bootleg fires. Tim McCarley described to the Associated Press that he had to flee his home in the rural north of Bligh. “The Sheriff’s Department has always been there, and they said,’If you don’t leave here now, then you will die,'” he said. “We ran around like a chicken with a severed head, throwing things into the car. Then we said, okay, that’s it, we have to go.”

They evacuated from the flames within 5 feet (1.5 meters) of his home. After the fire, McCully told the news agency that their trailer was like a “melting beer can.”

There have also been several fires in northern California, including the Dixie fire, Erupted on Wednesday, covering an area of ​​more than 2,250 acres Get close to where the deadly 2018 campfire ravaged Paradise Town and maintain 0% control

Lynette Round, Cal Fire’s information officer, said: “There is a lot of steep and inaccessible terrain, which makes it very difficult to contain it.” “The ground crew must go in on foot, so the firefighters have a lot of work.”

Meanwhile, in Mariposa County, the river fire was controlled to 36% after destroying 5 buildings and burning 9,500 acres of land. As staff worked to clear the hotspots, the evacuation order was cancelled, but officials warned that “years of drought and disease have weakened many trees, and those dead and collapsed trees and logs continue to pose problems”.

Number of acres burned in California this year Already eclipsed At this time last year, the state set a record for the most land burned. By the end of 2020, approximately 4.1 million acres of land have been scorched.

“Last August was very abnormal, when we had more than 14,000 lightning strikes, which caused many fires at one time. I hope this will not happen again this year,” Round said. “But what we saw this year is that we don’t have that much rain, which makes the fuel easier to burn.”

The raging wildfires were triggered by a wave of abnormal temperatures that swept across the western region, coupled with long-term droughts that caused vegetation to dry up. In recent decades, due to the climate crisis, the west has become warmer and drier, accelerating fires and making it more difficult to control them.

More than 60% of the western United States is suffering from an abnormal or extreme drought-the highest rating since the authorities began monitoring this phenomenon 20 years ago. The temperature has also reached historical levels, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has created 585 historical records in the past 30 days.

“When there is such heat, we are always worried,” Round said, emphasizing that residents of the area must be vigilant.

write on Washington postMeteorologist Matthew Capucci said that the next severe heat wave is expected to begin on Saturday and reach a critical peak on Monday. It will be centered on the Rocky Mountains in the United States and extend all the way to Canada, making the temperature 30 degrees Fahrenheit (16.7 degrees Celsius) higher than the annual average.

“In addition to the hot temperatures, the muggy air mass will stimulate the growth and ignition of more wildfires in the west, where dozens of fires have already raged,” Kabuki predicted.

Satellite image Post on Twitter A report from the National Weather Service showed that four huge clouds formed above the Bootleg fire, and the southernmost cloud began to gather into the most extreme fire cloud of its kind, the scorched cumulonimbus cloud. Such clouds are generated when heat is generated in a fire, causing hail, lightning, and tornadoes. These clouds themselves are very dangerous on the ground.

On Wednesday, the Bootleg fire in southeastern Oregon was burning. Photo: National Wildfire Coordination G/Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

The Bureau of Meteorology stated that the cloud pattern was “in itself scary” and asked the public “to immediately send positive thoughts and blessings to the firefighters. This is a difficult time for them.”

First responders battling the fire have begun to feel tired, and this is just the beginning of the fire season, which is expected to get worse in the coming months.

UCLA Public Health Professor David Eisenman said in a statement: “We are talking about a new fire season, where repeated and continuous fires will produce smoke for weeks or even months,” he pointed out that the complexity The disaster will cause mental harm to the residents because of the excellent land. “Once a week, most people are resilient, but if it happens for a few months each summer, that’s another matter. A few months of smog is a new thing we will see.”

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About the Author: Agnes Zang