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Hot, Dry Conditions Drive Wildfires in Western US and Canada


Fire consumes a home as the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, tears through Doyle, Calif., on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Pushed by heavy winds, the fire came out of the hills and destroyed multiple residences in central Doyle. (AP Photo…

Firefighters in the western United States and Canada are battling numerous wildfires as hot, dry weather worsens drought conditions.

A wildfire burning in southern Oregon, near the California border, expanded to more than 600 square kilometers, prompting evacuations and disrupting electrical transmission lines that deliver electricity to California.

Firefighters are not likely to get much relief in the coming days with conditions forecast to be dry and windy, with temperatures well above average. Authorities said Sunday they are shifting more crews to working overnight when it is easier to battle the fires and build containment lines.

California is dealing with its largest wildfire of the year, burning just north of Lake Tahoe. The Beckwourth Complex Fire grew to 348 square kilometers in size, while firefighters managed to get it 20% contained.

California power authorities are urging people to conserve energy Monday to try to avoid outages, with many parts of the state and neighboring Nevada under excessive heat warnings.

The National Weather Service said Death Valley, California, reached a high temperature of 53 degrees Celsius on Sunday and was expected to nearly match that again Monday.

Farther north, officials in the western Canadian state of British Columbia said more than 300 active fires are now burning there, an increase of 36 in two days.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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