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More wildfires ignite in West, forcing evacuations from California to Colorado

more-wildfires-ignite-in-west,-forcing-evacuations-from-california-to-colorado

ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Nearly four dozen uncontained wildfires are burning in the West Thursday, with 20 of them burning in California alone.

Winds gusted from 70 up to 104 mph in Colorado, producing a perfect setup for wildfire spread. That is where the Cameron Peak Fire grew explosively Wednesdays, when an additional 23,000 acres burned, making it the biggest wildfire in Colorado’s history at 158,300 acres.

Mandatory evacuations are posted in Colorado for Cameron Peak Fire.

In southern California, record heat and bone dry conditions combined with gusty winds helped spread the Bruder Fire east of Los Angeles, which also forced evacuations.

Several record highs were reported Wednesday in the Southwest: Anaheim, California hit 96 degrees; Ontario, California, 99; Napa, California, 94; Phoenix, 100 degrees and in North Las Vegas it reached 97 degrees.

Phoenix also officially broke the record for the most days over 100 degrees in a year Wednesday, which is now 144 days.

Red flag warnings are in place from Colorado to California, while a heat advisory has been issued from the San Francisco Bay area to San Diego. Also, a new fire weather watch is in place southern California for Thursday.

Gusty winds are expected in Colorado Thursday, but not as high as Wednesday. It will also be cooler in Colorado Thursday, which will hopefully help with the fires.

In northern California, there is a red flag warning due to hot, dry winds that could gust near 50 mph Thursday. Near record high temperatures are also expected in the region.

A new fire weather watch has been issued for Southern California Friday, when winds could gust up to 45 mph.

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