Hot

Climate change in action:

Wildfires in California and Montana exploded in size amid windy, hot conditions, forcing evacuation orders as they quickly encroached on neighborhoods.

In California’s Klamath national forest, the fast-moving McKinney fire, which started Friday, went from charring just over 1 sq mile (1 sq km) to scorching as much as 62 sq miles (160 sqkm) by Saturday in a largely rural area near the Oregon state line, according to fire officials.

Meanwhile in Montana, the Elmo wildfire nearly tripled in size to more than 11 sq miles within a few miles of the town of Elmo. And roughly 200 miles to the south, Idaho residents remained under evacuation orders as the Moose fire in the Salmon-Challis national forest charred more than 67.5 sq miles in timbered land near the town of Salmon. It was 17% contained.

This will go on for months, until the rains start.

Meanwhile, crews made significant progress in battling another major blaze in California that forced evacuations of thousands of people near Yosemite national park earlier this month. The Oak fire was 52% contained by Saturday, according to a Cal Fire incident update. But amid scorching temperatures the danger wasn’t entirely over, with structures and homes at risk until the blaze has been completely extinguished.

The fires come as scorching temperatures bake the Pacific north-west, the west remains parched in record drought, and severe storms sent flash floods surging across several states. In Kentucky, flash floods have claimed the lives of at least 25 people in what experts have called a 1-in-1,000 year rain event.

This isn’t the dress rehearsal, this is the play.

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