Dozens of large wildfires are still scorching millions of acres of land in the U.S., most of them in the West.
Several large fires in the Northwest, northern Rockies and Northern California burned actively over the weekend, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The Dixie fire in Northern California reported extreme fire behavior as it expanded by nearly 14,000 acres. As of early Monday morning, it covered more than 192,000 acres, was only 21% contained and is the second-largest fire in the country.
As of Sunday, 86 large fires were burning almost 1.5 million acres in 12 states. The commitment of resources to wildfires continues as more than 22,200 wildland firefighters and incident management teams have been assigned to wildfires.
The next couple of days will be hot and dry in the intermountain West as severe drought conditions persist. There’s a chance of thunderstorms in parts of the Northwest, Great Basin and Northern California areas. However, many of these could be dry thunderstorms, so lightning could spark new fires.
Crews have the Bootleg fire, the largest in the country, at 46% containment. It’s been burning in southern Oregon since July 6. It’s also getting bigger, now at more than 400,000 acres — twice the size of New York City in terms of area.
Truckers heading through the West should be ready for potential road closures, as well as low visibility, hazy skies and poor air quality in some areas due to smoke.
Other notable weather this week
Monsoonal thunderstorms could produce heavy rain and possible flash flooding early in the week from Southern California to central Nevada. This includes portions of the San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch across the region.
Intense, persistent heat will build this week in parts of the Northwest, Plains and lower Mississippi Valley. Highs will range from the mid-90s to 110 degrees, and heat index values could be as high as 110 in the Plains and South, with actual temperatures of 105 to 110 in central and eastern Montana, southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.
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