Categories: Events

Firefighters tackle wildfires as temperatures hit 54C California


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California has once again been hit by wildfires as temperatures in the region hit 54C, the highest since 1913 when the area recorded temperatures of 57C. As the fire services tackle the fires, other areas of the west coast have also been hit. On Friday Idaho declared a wildfire emergency which has seen the National Guard being brought in to help fight the fires.

Although some communities are being allowed back in their homes, as the blaze grows thousands more are being displaced. Those who are allowed to remain in their homes are being advised to conserve their electricity as the flow from three major transmission lines have been disrupted, resulting in an increased risk of electricity cuts.

Firefighters become first victims of the wildfire

With only 23% of the fires now extinguished, helicopters have now been brought in to help ground crew bring the fires under control, however, responders are claiming that the heat is so intense that the water dries before hitting the ground. On Saturday two firefighters operating a firefighting helicopter were killed whilst attending the blaze. In a statement posted on Twitter The Bureau of Land Management stated: “The accident occurred around noon today (July 10) and involved an air attack aircraft performing aerial reconnaissance and command and control over the fire. Two crew members were on board and we are sad to report there were no survivors.”

The wildfire, which is the largest the area has seen this year has also caused highways on the nearby Nevada border to close. As the operation to douse the fire enters its 9th day, there are concerns that the intense heat could continue in to next week, although officials are confident that their efforts will contain the fire despite weather conditions bringing additional challenges to responders.

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