Evacuations in Nevada as California wildfire rages
People are being evacuated from a community in the US state of Nevada as a wildfire that started in neighbouring California spreads.
The inferno, near Doyle, northeast of the Sierra Nevada region, has doubled in size in recent days as it has rushed through the bone dry timber amid record temperatures in the region.
On Friday, as 20mph winds drove it towards the border with Nevada, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office asked people to evacuate some areas in the rural communities of Ranch Haven and Flanagan Flats, north of Reno.
Nearly 1,000 firefighters, aided by aircraft, are fighting the blaze, called the Beckwourth Complex Fire, but it is only 11% contained.
It is only one of a number of wildfires, started by lightning, raging across the US, with areas of Oregon, Arizona and Idaho also affected.
An evacuation order was also issued for people in certain areas of Oregon, north of Beatty and near Sprague River.
That fire is threatening power lines that send electricity to California.
The state’s electricity grid operator also asked customers to limit the amount they use appliances to save energy.
California governor Gavin Newsom has issued an emergency proclamation suspending some regulations to ensure the state has the power it needs.
On Friday, California’s Death Valley National Park saw a high of 54.4C (129.92F) which, if verified, would be the hottest US temperature since July 1913 when the hottest ever reliably-measured temperature on Earth was recorded – a 56.6C (133.88F). Some experts remain doubtful about the 1913 record however, and if that was excluded, Friday’s temperature would be one of the hottest ever recorded across the globe.
During the heatwave, the Death Valley authorities issued a warning to hikers not to venture out after 10am.
More than a dozen homes have been destroyed in the past few days as a result of the latest fires in California.
In north-central Arizona, a fire in Yavapai County was 29% contained and in Idaho governor Brad Little declared an emergency on Friday and mobilised the state’s National Guard to help bring the blaze there under control.
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