U.S. officials in California say a wildfire burning near the border with Oregon has killed one person as it continues to grow in strength.
Authorities say the fire destroyed buildings Friday and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. They did not give details about the person who died in the fire.
The fire broke out Thursday and it grew within hours from an initial 1,000 acres to 8,000 acres with flames crossing Interstate 5 near the California and Oregon border.
It was one of dozens of fires across the West, fueled by rising temperatures and gusty winds forecast to last through the weekend.
The blaze is threatening 300 homes near Hornbook, California, a small town about 22 kilometers (14 miles) south of the Oregon border.
California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the area.
Avoid the area
While the fire has not yet entered Oregon, officials there are warning people near the border, and especially hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, that they may need to evacuate quickly if the winds shift and the fire enters the state.
The areas of concern include the Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Ashland and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Fire danger could prohibit rescuers from looking for anyone, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Three dozen fires
The blaze is one of more than three dozen wildfires in the western United States that firefighters are battling.
U.S. officials are warning that more fires could erupt in the days ahead due to hot weather and extreme winds.
A heat wave this weekend is affecting Southern California, parts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah with temperatures predicted to hit well over 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit). Parts of Los Angeles are predicted to see temperatures over 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit).
Officials say the highest fire danger in the region stretches from Los Angeles County westward as well as several counties up the coast where a north wind adds another element of concern.
Weather forecasters say there is also a possibility of thunderstorms on Sunday, with any lightning strike that hits the hot, dry region being a real danger.
Rain brings relief, threat of flooding
In contrast, rain helped slow the growth of wildfires in Colorado that have burned dozens of homes. But the threat of a deluge raised the possibility of flooding at a stubborn blaze in the southwestern corner of the state.
Officials issued a flash flood watch for the 85-square-mile (220-square-kilometer) area burned by a fire that started June 1. They say it is just smoldering and rain over the coming days should keep it from spreading.
Rain helped a fire in the heart of ski country that has destroyed three houses, including the home of a volunteer firefighter battling the flames near the resort town of Aspen. Gov. John Hickenlooper visited the area Friday.
It also offered relief in the southern Colorado mountains where a blaze has destroyed more than 130 homes and forced the evacuation of at least 2,000 properties. The Spring Creek Fire became the third-largest in state history at 165 square miles (427 square kilometers).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.