WildfiresWildfires Threaten California’s Power Grid

Published 12 July 2021

Wildfires blazed through California, Arizona, and Oregon, driven by winds and a lack of humidity.. Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Utility officials in Oregon were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire which is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking California with the Oregon power grid. The blaze in Oregon threatens the power lines which carry power to California.

Firefighters in the western United States fought to contain wildfires against the backdrop of soaring temperatures in northern California and surrounding regions.

Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit.

A rescue aircraft crashed into a wildfire in Mohave County, Arizona, killing two firefighters. The aircraft was performing monitoring the Cedar Basin Fire burning near Wikieup, the Arizona Bureau of Land Management told local broadcaster KHPOTV. The Cedar Basin Fire, which has burned around 300 acres (1.2 square kilometers), was started by lightning.

State authorities have deployed hundreds of firefighters and multiple planes in an effort to bring the fires under control, but the blazes, fueled by winds and lack of moisture, have been raging on. 

California has activated its FlexAlert, which instructs residents to cut down on their power usage as the state’s power grid was under excessive strain due to the wildfires in Oregon. Utility officials in Oregon were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire which is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking Califonia with the Oregon power grid.

The blaze in Oregon threatens the power lines which carry power to California. The grids remained stable, however, and the FlexAlert was lifted on Saturday night. 

On Friday, fire information officer Lisa Cox said, “We’re expecting more of the same the day after and the day after and the day after.”

On Saturday, Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius) – a drop of one degree from the 54 degrees Celsius recorded on Friday.

DW notes that the highest recorded temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Celsius, from July 1913 in Furnace Creek Desert. 

The largest wildfire of the year in California was raging around 483 kilometers (300 miles) away from the desert, along the border of Nevada. 

Another fire caused by two lightning strikes was blazing in the Beckwourth Complex of the Sierra Nevada forest region, nearly doubling in size during Friday and Saturday. 

Several fires burning in the west have destroyed homes in California. Surging flames have forced evacuations in Northern California and Nevada.

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