Wildfires, fueled by heat and drought, are straining firefighters in Arizona and California as conditions augur worse fires to come in Oregon. At least 15 fires actively burning more than 400,000 acres across Arizona have stretched fire crews already hampered by extreme heat. Though cooler weather is expected later in the week, it could also bring lightning that could spark new blazes. Flagstaff was enveloped in smoke, Monday, and the Coconino and Kaibab national forests will close Wednesday, a first for the Coconino forest since 2006. In California, more than 500 firefighters are struggling to contain the remote Willow Fire in the rugged coastal mountains south of Big Sur.
Finally, in Southern Oregon, multiple fires had burned over 10,000 acres as of Monday evening with the fast-moving Cutoff Fire forcing evacuations. Fire conditions could become dramatically worse in the area with the potential for a ‘heat dome‘ developing over the region later in the week. (Arizona: AP; National Forest closures: Arizona Family, ABC15; California: AP, The Guardian, KCRA Sacramento, Mercury News; Bay Area smoke San Francisco Chronicle; Oregon fires: Salem Statesman Journal; Climate Signals background: Wildfires)