Oppressive Heat Set to Sear U.S. West Again as Fire Risk Soars

Another round of wilting heat bearing down on the U.S. West will put further pressure on electric grids and raise fire risks across the region before reaching a peak by week’s end.

Temperatures across the Northern California, parts of interior Oregon, Washington and Nevada will rise 15 to 20 degrees above normal, said Frank Pereira, a forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. As the week goes on, excessive readings will spread. Boise could see a near record of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) on Tuesday, while Fresno could reach 109 degrees and Sacramento 106 by the weekend.

“The entire West is baking again,” Pereira said. “Looking at the temperature anomaly maps, they remain above average even for this time of year out through the next seven days.”

The hot weather comes a week after all-time-high temperatures across the Pacific Northwest killed dozens and stressed power supplies. The protracted heat wave fueled scores of wildfires in Canada’s western provinces, with British Columbia officials warning that a long summer of firefighting lies ahead. California made an urgent request last week for additional power supplies to avoid blackouts this summer.

“A record-shattering heat wave is now a reality across the Pacific Northwest and California and will likely come back periodically through August,” said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group. “Fire risk will soar.”

In California’s Death Valley, temperatures could approach 130 by this weekend, Rouiller said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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