California experiences several major wildfires amid a record-breaking heatwave

Parts of California hitting record high temperatures over the weekend. Numerous wildfires raging out west.
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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(ABC NEWS) - Parts of California hitting record high temperatures over the weekend, with the National Weather Service forecasting 3-digit temperatures in Palm Springs and other spots in the state this week. This as they battle a drought and rolling blackouts as well.

Fires are burning across the southwest as over 50 million americans are under excessive heat warnings and advisories today from Montana to California.

Death valley reportedly hitting a record high of 130 degrees on sunday - if verified, this would be the hottest temperature there since 1913.

Other parts of California recording triple digit temperatures -- those dangerously hot temperatures, mixed with strong winds and low humidity, are the perfect recipe for wildfires.

The lake fire in southern california is burning over 18,500 acres and is now 31% contained -- but the conditions firefighters are facing are not in their favor, with a dozen structures already destroyed and over four thousand others threatened.

The Loyalton Fire is burning in the Tahoe National Forest. The National Weather Service in Las Vegas even issued a ‘fire tornado warning’, the first known warning. On occasion the intense heat and varying winds can create fire whirls. Like a dust devil but with smoke and flames. These can even happen during prescribed burns.

However a fire tornado, that means that tornado like winds were wrapping into a vortex.

Water and retardant drops aiming to keep nearby neighborhoods safe.

Only rubble remains of Saundra Putziger’s home, who only had minutes to grab her two daughters and belongings and flee the flames.

“I was watching the news and I was like oh my gosh that’s our house. It burned to the ground”

In colorado, the Grizzly creek fire is filling surrounding towns with smoke as fire crews struggle to put out the flames on rugged terrain, but crews hope their efforts pay off.

As the west coast faces this extreme heat wave and related energy shortages, California Governor Gavin newsom signed an emergency proclamation for California to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions.

The National Weather Service forecasts the heatwave will continue for the next few days.

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