by Sergio Olmos
PORTLAND (Reuters) – The western United States had a fourth day of blistering heat on Monday, with temperatures again threatening record-breaking amid wildfires in the drought-stricken Oregon State and pressured power lines by high temperatures.
The National Climate Service said the heat wave, which brought temperatures of 54 degrees Celsius in California’s Death Valley on Sunday, had likely peaked, and that more moderate temperatures are expected by the end of the year. week.
“However, excessive heat warnings remain in effect from California to Utah as readings remain well above normal on Monday,” the service said in a bulletin, again predicting high temperatures in the desert region in the southwestern part of the country.
The unusual heat wave, caused by a persistent high-pressure system, is already the third in the region this year, an anomaly that many experts attribute to climate change.
The high temperatures come as forests and thickets are already extremely dry across the western region after years of severe drought, contributing to what officials say could be an intense wildfire season.
In Oregon, the so-called Bootleg fire burned more than 153,000 acres (almost 620 square kilometers) around and in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Fire teams had little success in containing the flames.
The fire burns along a high-voltage power corridor that connects Oregon’s electricity grid with California’s, worrying authorities in both states that the power supply to thousands of homes and businesses may be suspended.
(Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix and Sergio Olmos in Portland)
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