More than 100 million Americans are under a dangerous heat warning or advisory amid record temperatures, and nearly 90 large wildfires are raging in 12 US states.
Six new large fires have been reported since the weekend, including two in Alaska and one each in Alabama, Idaho, Montana and Oklahoma, officials said on Monday, and wildfires in the US have burned more than 3 million hectares.
More than 6,600 wildland firefighters and other support personnel are deployed to fight fires across the United States.
The massive fires come as record high temperatures continue this week, putting more than 100 million US residents under “excessive” [heat] heat warnings or advisories,” National Weather Service said Tuesday morning.
Areas covered by these advisories include much of the Plains and the Mississippi Valley, where daytime temperatures are expected to reach 100F across much of the region.
The mercury could reach 110F in some areas, which weather officials described as “well above average to record heat” expected to persist into midweek.
The temperature is also expected to worsen in the north-east of the country. Between Philadelphia and Boston on Wednesday, heat index values are forecast to reach nearly 100F.
New York Governor Cathy Hatchul warned of the conditions and asked residents to check on vulnerable people, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to prepare for the heat and humidity this week and to monitor the weather closely over the next couple of days,” Hachul said.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a “red warning” for the risk of wildfires in several areas. In the region from southeastern Wyoming to western Nebraska, “high winds and low humidity are likely to promote rapid spread of any fires,” officials said.
And the NWS has released a “red flag warning” for all of north and central Texas as the combination of “high winds, low relative humidity and dry vegetation could promote extreme fire behavior.”
One wildfire in north Texas burned several homes and forced the evacuation of at least eight homes. This blaze, the Possum Kingdom Lake Fire, located about 95 miles west of Dallas, has burned about 500 acres since early Monday.
Adam Turner, a spokesman for the Texas A&M University Forest Service, said the drought conditions have prepared the area for fire, explaining, “We’re dealing with dry fuel levels that we haven’t seen in 10 years.”
Turner also said that “any spark that gets into the tall grass or even the short grass right now can spark.”
The wildfire risk in Alaska terrible: since the beginning of April, there have been more than 500 such fires in the state, which forced a large evacuation.
Although USA and many parts of the world plagued by record high temperatures, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are unlikely to pass legislation that could help combat the climate crisis.
Democratic Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin – who makes millions from the coal industry – rejected attempts to allocate more funds for climate action, to destroy central to the climate agenda of Joe Biden and his Democratic administration, basically threatens global climate goals.