Blazing wildfires continue to wreak havoc in northern California, prompting evacuation orders, highway closures, and event cancellations - while the potential of "dry lightning" has prompted red flag warnings across the state for Sunday.
Red Flag Warnings
A red flag warning has been issued for the Northern Rockies, which are now experiencing a heat wave threatening to ignite new fires.
According to the Associated Press, a red flag warning is also in force for the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, the country's largest wildfire, which expanded even larger Sunday to 476 square miles, roughly the size of Los Angeles.
Bootleg Fire Under Control
According to InciWeb, the Bootleg Fire is roughly 22% controlled as of Sunday afternoon.
The Tamarack Fire is one of 70 significant flames blazing across more than a million acres in the United States, including nine in California, south of Lake Tahoe near the Nevada border.
According to a statement from the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, the Tamarack Fire was being fueled by "gusty winds" and "critically dry fuels" as it burned uncontained near the town of Markleeville. After being sparked by lightning on July 4, it has burned over 21,000 acres.
The country is engulfed in yet another heat wave, this time with the brunt of the heat being concentrated in the northwest and northern regions.
Many of the flames erupted during a scorching spell, which scientists attribute to human-caused climate change.
Related Article: Severe Drought Worsens Wildfires All Over the US
According to CNN, the Beckwourth Complex Fire, which has burnt 92,988 acres and is just 66 percent controlled, is the biggest wildfire on record this year.
In a statement on released its website, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for many surrounding communities, prompting Death Ride to cancel its extreme biking race through the Sierra Nevada on Saturday.
"Thousands of motorcyclists and onlookers were stuck in the little hamlet and raced to get out," according to the Associated Press. Part of Highway 89 was closed near the junction with Highway 4 due to the fire.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 17 wildfires were burning in Idaho, 13 in Montana, nine in Oregon, seven in Washington state, six in Alaska, four in Arizona, two in Wyoming, and one each in Colorado, Utah, and Minnesota.
Wildfires are uncontrolled fires that rage through natural environments such as woods, meadows, and prairies. These dangerous flames spread rapidly and may wreak havoc on towns as well as wildfires and natural regions.
If officials advise you to evacuate, do so right away! If at all feasible, carry items that can assist protect you and others from COVID-19 while sheltering with you when you escape. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, cleaning supplies, and two cotton masks per person are examples of items that can help prevent the transmission of infection.
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