United States Experiences Heatwave, California Ravaged by Wildfire
Millions of Americans are baking in a sweltering heatwave that has lasted for over a week, with many bracing for more record-breaking temperatures.
Parts of California have been ravaged by wildfires as rising temperatures and ongoing droughts create the perfect atmosphere for disaster. While the west coast and pacific northwest have been experiencing temperatures of at least 20 degrees over the record, the central and northeastern regions of the country are predicted to be hit with a heat wave in the first week of August. Heat advisories have been in effect across most of the United States as temperatures begin to ramp up.
Due to the extreme heat, a massive Oak Fire erupted in California near Yosemite National Park on Friday, July 23rd, and has already destroyed the homes of over 3,000 people.
The Oak Fire, which is demonstratively “explosive,” grew from 60 acres to more than 6,555 acres in Mariposa County in less than 24 hours. Ten buildings have already been destroyed and five damaged, and thousands more may still be in danger.
According to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection of California, the fire is yet to be contained as of noon on Saturday, July 30th.
According to the department, the fire’s activity was “extreme,” and emergency workers were fighting to evacuate residents from the hazardous surroundings. Currently, approximately 900 residents are displaced.
The department said the fire is being fought by more than 400 firefighters with the aid of water-dropping aircraft, but officials were cited by the Los Angeles Times saying it could take a week to contain.
The LA Times reported that the clouds rose as high as 30,000 feet in the sky while shocked social media users shared pictures of billowing smoke plumes. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist, tweeted that the fire was “exhibiting consistently extreme behavior.”
Still on Heatwave across the United States…
California and other parts of the western United States have recently been scorched by large, hot, and rapidly spreading wildfires. This is mostly triggered by years of drought allowing for forests and bushes to dry out and easily catch fire and rising temperatures.
It’s been predicted that for the next five days, central US cities like Dallas and Oklahoma City will experience high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Cities all along the northeast coast, from Boston to Philadelphia to Washington, are under a heat emergency.
The pacific northwest won’t be able to avoid the intense heat next week, as the area is predicted to have several days in the 90s.
The number of emergency calls for ailments due to the heat has already increased. Officials who spoke to The Guardian reported at least four heatwave-related deaths so far.
Joseph Kralicek, director of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency, told CNN, “This is really one of the things that we recognize in Oklahoma — heat is the number one weather-related killer across the United States. It far surpasses any other natural-related cause of death.”
The city’s residents anticipated Saturday’s temperature to reach 103 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 106 degrees on Monday.
During the National Weather Service’s forecast for the weekend and oncoming week, they said, “Look for daytime max temps to eclipse the century mark in the Central Plains and record-breaking high temps from the Central Plains to the Northeast.”
Extreme heat waves have recently affected many parts of the world, including Western Europe in July and India in March–April. According to scientists, these occurrences are a blatant indication of climate change, with many scientists saying the increasingly extreme weather will soon become the norm.