Northeast braces for triple-digit heat index and scorching temperatures in the West fuel 62 wildfires including the second-largest in California history

Monday, August 6, 2018
By Paul Martin

Parts of the Northeast including Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are under heat advisory through Tuesday
High humidity and temperatures in the upper 90s will combine for a triple-digit heat index in many areas
Meanwhile soaring temperatures and dry conditions continue to fuel dozens of wildfires on the West Coast
Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California is now the second-largest in state history at 427 square miles
Wildfire death toll has reached nine in California, with more than 1,000 homes destroyed by the racing flames

6 August 2018

The Northeast will struggle under humidity that makes it feels like triple-digit temperatures early this week, as blazing heat and dry conditions in the West fuel 62 separate wildfires – including the massive Mendocino Complex Fire in California.

Parts of the Northeast, including Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, are under a heat advisory through Tuesday, with temperatures in the high 90s and humidity combining for heat indexes over 100 in some areas.

‘Strong southerly flow will pump hot and humid air into the Northeast, resulting in above normal temperatures and even higher index values,’ the National Weather Service said in a flash bulletin. ‘In the meantime, several areas in the Northeast also have poor air quality.’

Meanwhile out West, a critical Red Flag Warning is in effect for parts of southern California through Tuesday, meaning conditions are ripe for new wildfires as crews continue to battle massive blazes across the state.

‘Gusty north winds will develop across the region, strongest across the Santa Barbara county south coast and mountains, as well as the Interstate 5 corridor of the Los Angeles and Ventura county mountains into the Santa Clarita Valley,’ the NWS said.

‘Any new fire ignitions will have the potential for very rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior,’ the bulletin continued.

On Monday morning, about 120 miles north of San Francisco, the Mendocino Complex Fire officially became the second-largest wildfire in modern state history, reaching 427 square miles. It is now just 13 square miles away from surpassing the state’s largest fire, the Thomas Fire last year in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Crews worked through the night to hold the fire lines, and the fire was 30 per cent contained Monday morning, CalFire said.

The Mendocino Complex has destroyed 75 homes and 68 other structures, officials said. The fire began on July 27 and the cause remains under investigation.

More than 20,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the fire tears through communities in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties.

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