Wildfires rage as heat wave stifles western U.S., Canada

Experts attribute heat wave directly to climate change

July 12, 2021 10:00 pm | Updated 10:03 pm IST - Los Angeles

Parallel infernos: Plumes of smoke rise from two different wildfires in British Columbia, Canada.

Parallel infernos: Plumes of smoke rise from two different wildfires in British Columbia, Canada.

The western United States and Canada was suffering under scorching temperatures to start the week, with heat warnings still in place Monday and authorities struggling to reign in wildfires in both countries.

Sweltering conditions hit much of the Pacific seaboard and as far inland as the western edge of the Rocky Mountains on Saturday and Sunday, in a dramatic, prolonged heat wave experts attribute directly to climate change.

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) had warned the dangerous temperatures will continue in the region for the early part of the week, forecasting highs of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) in southern California, and issued a heat advisory for the Los Angeles area until Monday evening.

The NWS said temperatures would dip slightly from Monday, but added, “This small relative cool down is of little relief to areas that have seen long-term oppressive and above normal temperatures.”

Canadian meteorologists predicted highs approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) — well above seasonal norms — would continue in parts of western Canada on Monday.

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