Relentless heat to feed California firestorm as Carr Fire death toll reaches 6

The hot, dry weather that contributed to the deadly California firestorm shows no sign of letting up into the first part of August.

"Unfortunately, not much is expected to change in regards to the weather pattern for a majority of the West, with hot, dry weather keeping the wildfire threat at extreme levels through the first days of August," AccuWeather Meteorologist and western U.S. blogger Jordan Root said.

While a sweep of cooler air will quell the 90-degree heat in the Pacific Northwest at midweek, Root said the heat relief will not make it south into California or the rest of the Southwest.

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Temperatures in the triple digits will remain into the first weekend of August across northern and central portions of California. Temperatures have averaged about 4 degrees above normal this summer.

This includes in Redding where the explosive Carr Fire continues to blaze a path of destruction. Highs typically range from the middle 80s at the start of June to near 100 in late July in Redding.

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Wildfires near Redding, California
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Wildfires near Redding, California
TOPSHOT - An inmate firefighter pauses during a firing operation as the Carr fire continues to burn in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. - One person has died and at least two others have been injured as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Toys stand untouched near a home destroyed by the Carr Fire west of Redding, California, U.S. July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
A woman covers her face while viewing her grandmother's burned home during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. - 'Two firefighters have been killed in the Carr fire. A private contractor (operating) a bulldozer died yesterday and a Redding City firefighter was killed in the evening,' a spokesman for Calfire, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told AFP. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A real estate sign is seen in front of a burning home during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. - One firefighter has died and at least two others have been injured as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
Kambryn Brilz, 12, holds her dog Zoe at her burnt home after she was returned safely by a neighbor during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. One firefighter has died and at least two others have been injured as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
The debris of a burned home is seen after the Carr Fire west of Redding, California, U.S. July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong?
A firefighter walks between brush rigs as the the Carr Fire burns behind him, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
A CalFire firefighter douses flames on a burning home during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. - 'Two firefighters have been killed in the Carr fire. A private contractor (operating) a bulldozer died yesterday and a Redding City firefighter was killed in the evening,' a spokesman for Calfire, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told AFP. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Inmate fire crews cut a fire line during the evening as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
Inmate fire crews cut a fire line during the evening as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
A charred statue is seen among the burned out remains of a residential neighborhood during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. Two firefighters have died and dozens of homes have burned as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A firefighter watches the flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S., July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S., July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
Celia Corona rescues an injured cat in a burned residential neighborhood during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. Two firefighters have died and hundreds of homes have burned as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Keaton Brilz, 14, looks at his burned home with his family during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. Two firefighters have died and more than 100 homes have burned as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Wade Brilz looks at his burned home during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. Two firefighters have died and more than 100 homes have burned as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Firefighters monitor a backfire during the Carr fire in Redding, California on July 27, 2018. - One person has died and at least two others have been injured as wind-whipped flames tore through the region. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: A home burns along Sunflower Road during the Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Fire fighters battle the Carr Fire west of Redding, California, U.S. July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
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Fire crews and anyone else spending time outdoors will need to make sure they stay properly hydrated and take frequent breaks to lessen the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Outside of spotty afternoon thunderstorms in the highest elevations of the West, no drought-busting or wildfire-dousing rainfall is in the cards through at least this week.

Heat to fuel Carr Fire, dozens of other blazes in West

The continued weather pattern will help to fuel ongoing wildfires, complicate firefighting efforts and may cause new flare ups to turn into raging infernos in a short amount of time. 

Accuweather 

The Carr Fire continues to pose the most significant risk to lives and property, charring nearly 100,000 acres, destroying over 720 residential structures and forcing tens of thousands to evacuate in Redding.

Thousands of homes remain threatened.

After days of minimal containment, crews were able to make some progress on the fire on Sunday, with containment now up to 20 percent.

The furious blaze has killed six people since igniting on Monday, July 23, including a bulldozer operator, a Redding fire inspector and two young children and their great-grandmother, according to the Associated Press (AP). Seven people remain missing.

Authorities found a sixth body on Sunday in a home consumed by the flames.

The cause of the blaze has been attributed to the mechanical failure of a vehicle. 

AccuWeather meteorologist and volunteer firefighter Evan Duffey is concerned that the fire can continue to create its own weather, making it even more dangerous to fight as it can spread quickly and erratically.

"Rapidly rising air caused by the extreme heat helps the fire to grow explosively as the fire will create its own wind, as well as fire vortices (firenadoes) and tree crowning (when the leaves get engulfed by flames), even on otherwise calm days,” Duffey said.

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“It’s burning in every direction all at the same time,” Cal Fire Chief Steve Crawford told the AP in reference to the Carr Fire. “It’s burning as if it’s got strong wind on it even when there’s no wind.”

As cooler air begins to push across the Pacific Northwest, winds may increase from the south and southwest in the Redding area by the middle part of this week. Winds averaging 10-20 mph are possible.

Farther south in California, the Ferguson Fire, which has consumed over 54,000 acres near Yosemite National Park, forced the closure of Yosemite Valley on Wednesday, July 25. Two firefighters have died while battling the blaze.

The area is set to reopen on Friday afternoon, Aug. 3, according to the National Park Service.

The Cranston Fire burning in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles has forced the closure of numerous hiking trails and campgrounds in the area. Evacuations remain in place in several communities.

Last Wednesday, Cal Fire Law Enforcement Officers arrested Brandon McGlover, 32, of Temecula for setting the fire.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed an emergency declaration for California, providing federal assistance to areas affected by wildfires.

Outside of California, dozens of other wildfires in the West are charring hundreds of thousands of acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center

 

“The smoke from all of these blazes will reduce visibility and cause poor air quality that can lead to serious health problems,” Root said.

People should limit time outdoors and avoid strenuous activities amid smoky conditions, especially the elderly, children and those with respiratory problems.

Residents are also encouraged to have an emergency bag packed in the event of a quick evacuation. Remember to take along food and any medications for pets.

 

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