Thousands of firefighters continue to battle dozens of wildfires that have burned more than 900,000 acres in 12 western states. The National Interagency Fire Center says more than 14,200 wildland firefighters and support personnel are working to control 67 large fires. Idaho, Arizona, Montana, and California account for a large majority of the incidents.
Among the other states reporting active fires were Wyoming, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Fires broke out in the West as Americans face a second bout of dangerously high temperatures and the threat of thunderstorms and lightning.
The Beckwourth Complex, two lightning-ignited blazes and the largest wildfire burning in California, has scorched more than 91,200 acres. Fire officials said it was 26 percent contained by Monday evening. California Incident Management Operations Chief Jake Cagle said there are extreme fire conditions and the “probability of ignition” is likely with the slightest fuel source like an ember or match.
“That’s the kind of extreme weather conditions we’re dealing with,” Cagle said Monday. “And it’s still early. This is stuff that we expect in August, for the past five, six, seven years – now we’re seeing it earlier in July.” The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon was blazing across more than 200,000 acres as of Tuesday morning. FULL REPORT