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'Dangerous' Wildfires And Weather Conditions In California
Firefighters in California and other western states are battling wildfires as drought persists in the region.
In California, now in the fifth consecutive year of drought, thousands of federal and state firefighters are trying to get the upper hand on more than six, large active wildfires.
And conditions are not forecast to improve. From north to south, the heat is on in the Golden State.
In northern California, the National Weather Service in Sacramento says drying winds and lowering humidity will affect the Sacramento Valley and foothills through Saturday, with "modest humidity improvement Sunday."
The NWS says the lowest humidity, 8-14 percent, will be Saturday in the Sacramento Valley and foothills below 4,500 feet.
The humidity may ease, but the forecast calls for triple-digit heat Sunday through Wednesday for the Sacramento Valley.
"Gusty winds and low relative humidity may cause easier fire starts and faster spread," according to the NWS, which has issued a Red Flag Warning for "critical fire weather" conditions.
In southern California, there is a Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and relative low humidity for the Antelope Valley, the mountains of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and for the south coast of Santa Barbara County.
The high temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds create difficult conditions for firefighters.
Cal Fire reports that on June 24, more than 4,500 firefighters were working to contain six large wildfires in California, covering more than 30,000 acres.
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, says as of June 24, more than 7,000 firefighters are working to contain 20 large, active wildfires across the country covering more than 150,000 acres.
NIFC says the potential for wildland fire is "above normal" in July for portions of California, western Nevada and Arizona.
Drought now covers 100 percent of California, as dryness expanded along the northwest coast in the past week, according to the Drought Center.
The drought and summer heat, combined with 66 million dead trees in California, creates dangerous wildfire conditions that will likely persist through the summer.
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