Wildfires in West prompt new evacuations as they spread through region
(NEW YORK) — Evacuation orders have been issued in several regions in the West due to spreading wildfires.
Thousands of residents in Northern California and Montana were ordered to flee their homes as both new and existing wildfires neared neighborhoods.
Currently, about 90 large wildfires are burning in 12 states in the West — much of which is suffering from severe drought conditions.
The Dixie Fire, which has been burning near the Feather River Canyon in Northern California for weeks, prompted new evacuation orders in Greenville.
The Dixie Fire — the largest in the state — has been through more than 253,000 acres and is just 35% contained. The extreme fire behavior is being exacerbated by hot and dry conditions with gusty winds are persisting in the area, making it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze.
The McFarland Fire in Wildwood, California, prompted evacuations in the area after it grew to more than 15,000 acres and remains just 5% contained. Critical fire weather is in effect in the region through Wednesday.
Evacuation warnings are in effect for the Monument Fire in Big Bar, California, after scorching through more than 6,000 acres. It is 0% contained.
The Boulder 2700 Fire near Polson, Montana, burned through nearly 1,500 acres by Tuesday afternoon and prompted evacuations over the weekend. Multiple structures have been destroyed by the fire, but cool, wet and humid weather will help to contain it.
The spread of the wildfires had slowed last week but picked back up as the moisture from the monsoons in the Southwest disappeared, with lightning strikes sparking more.
At least 35 new wildfires ignited over the weekend due to lightning strikes. Dozens of wildfires have sparked in Oregon alone over the last 48 hours, while 13 new fires have started in the last 24 hours in Montana.
Six states in the West, from Arizona to Washington, are currently under fire and heat alerts, while red flag warnings have been issued in Oregon and Northern California.
Excessive heat warnings are also in effect this week for the Southwest, including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.
ABC News’ Melissa Griffin and Max Golembo contributed to this report.
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