California has already faced nearly twice the acreage burned this year compared to last year by last week, with 2,733 fires burning 12,540 from January 1, 2021 through June 6, 2021, compared to January 1, 2020 through June 6, 2020, when 6,353 acres were burned in 2,025 fires.
With temperatures across the west forecast to reach record highs, experts are warning that extreme fire danger will increase through the week.
A wildfire south of Flagstaff that quickly grew to 1,000 acres prompted evacuations Sunday in one subdivision, a tweet from Arizona State Forestry said Sunday.
The fire destroyed one building and threatened nearly a dozen others, according to Inciweb.
It sparked in Cornville, which is 57 miles south of Flagstaff and 100 miles north of Phoenix. The cause is still under investigation.
One outbuilding was destroyed in the blaze and several other structures were threatened, according to the tweet.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office ordered the evacuations for the Mingus Panorama subdivision when the fire had scorched about 400 acres by the afternoon. It is unclear how many people or homes were ordered to evacuate.
Aviation and ground resources were ordered to respond to the scene, according to the tweet.
The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management warned of very high fire danger for the weekend as hot temperatures and dry thunderstorms were expected in the region
The release said the state has already seen 208,190 acres burned in 848 wildfires this year compared to 138,443 acres burned in 902 wildfires over the same time period last year.
“We cannot stress enough to the public the critical situation we are faced with. Firefighters are already challenged and any ignition starting within this drought-stricken fuel bed combined with our incoming critical fire weather could produce large, fast-moving and very active wildfires,” DFFM Fire Management Officer John Truett said in the release. “Take personal responsibility, follow fire restrictions, and do your part with prevention efforts.”
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Pinyon Crest neighborhood near the Santa Rosa Mountains, which is about 130 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
The fire jumped highway 74 and moved northeast, according to a tweet from San Bernardino National Forest.
At least 400 personnel responded to the fire, which started around 11:15 a.m. local time. The fire is 10% contained and the cause is still unknown.
The Beale Fire has burned 150 acres and is 20% contained, the agency website shows. No cause has been determined.
Heat wave could bring record highs
The cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas could break their all time June warm temperature records, according to CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy.
Las Vegas and other cities could break their all time heat records Guy explained, adding that “this could be the week Las Vegas is the warmest ever recorded.”
Guy says Arizona could all see its all time records broken this week, with Phoenix forecast to have the next 7 days 11-13 degrees Fahrenheit above normal each day this week, hitting an estimated 117-118 degrees.
From Tuesday through Saturday some locations could see temperature hit as high as 120 degrees. The hottest temperature ever recorded for Phoenix in June is 122 in 1990, according to Guy.
As the heat hits its peak on Thursday for most of the region, more than 250 heat records could be tied or fall through Friday across the West, he said.
Such high heat, coupled with drought will only elevate the risk of wildfires by the end of the week.
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