Wildfires in 4 States, Heatwave in the Southwest U.S.
GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Crews battling wildfires in four states are bracing for worsening conditions as a heat wave will bring potentially record-shattering temperatures across the Southwest.
About 270 homes and ranches are at risk and campgrounds are evacuated in California. A blaze in central New Mexico has burned 24 homes, and evacuation orders remain in effect for the community of Forestdale, Arizona. Crews in southern Utah made gains against three wildfires Saturday.
The California fire is now 45 percent contained.
Fire officials say they were able to nail down the west side of the blaze west of Santa Barbara on Friday night after 40-mph "Sundowner" winds failed to materialize.
In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez has directed the New Mexico National Guard to assist in securing communities affected by a massive wildfire in the central part of the state.
In Arizona, a fire southwest of Show Low is 30 percent contained. Firefighters beefed up containment areas on the northern and western sides of the blaze.
Southwest braces for heat wave with temps reaching 120
PHOENIX (AP) — A heatwave expected to begin today in the Southwest has health officials reminding people to keep hydrated and in the shade or indoors.
In Phoenix, the high for Saturday was 111. But meteorologists believe the next two days could be record-breaking with readings to 120. Excessive heat contributed to 84 deaths in Arizona last year.
Excessive heat warnings are in effect through the first half of the week.
Arizona Department of Health Director Dr. Cara Christ is warning residents to watch for signs of heat illness: thirst, red skin, cramping, exhaustion and a lack of sweat.
Government and industry are prepping for the heat issuing precautions and planning for the worst.
A heat wave in early June brought temperatures as high as 117 degrees in Phoenix.