Dozens of new fires and evacuations: People in the western United States and Canada are again hit by the scorching heat. Meteorologists are warning of a new “dangerous heat wave” and record temperatures as wildfires continue to spread across Canada. Train traffic was restricted in the area, some roads were closed and new evacuations were ordered.
“A dangerous heat wave will hit large parts of the western United States with record-breaking temperatures,” the US National Weather Service said on Sunday. According to the US Weather Service, a record temperature reached 47.2 degrees Celsius in Las Vegas on Saturday – a temperature that had been measured in the desert city once in 1942 and three times since 2005.
In Canada alone, there were 50 more fires in the past two days. Here the army helps to fight with fire. There are about 300 fires currently raging in the area. Canadian Transportation Minister Omar Alghabara on Sunday announced new emergency measures to prevent wildfires in the region. Among other things, the train connection has been closed. Train due to uncontrolled flying sparks due to poor maintenance is a common cause of forest fires.
Climate change exacerbates the risk situation
In the US state of Oregon, the so-called bootleg fire continued to spread south over the weekend: its area tripled, according to the US Forest Authority. Dozens of fires are also happening in California.
In late June, a heat wave killed hundreds of people in the north-west of the United States and western Canada with temperatures up to nearly 50 degrees Celsius. In the Canadian community of Lytton, about 260 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, 49.6 °C was measured – the record previously held in Canada was 45 °C. A few days later, the village was almost completely destroyed in an inferno.
Last month was the hottest June on record in North America. Rain and snow in the mountains, which usually fill reservoirs, are already at critically low levels. According to scientists, climate change is also increasing drought, heat and weather extremes, which can contribute to more violent wildfires.