Wildfires roast western states

Thursday, August 16, 2012
By Paul Martin

By the CNN Wire Staff
CNN.com
Thu August 16, 2012

(CNN) — Blistering hot temperatures will blast the normally tepid Pacific Northwest again Thursday as dozens of wildfires burn across large sections of the western United States.

The mercury is expected to soar near triple digits in Portland, Oregon, with Seattle forecast to reach the lower 90s, the National Weather Service said. The coastal region is roasting under an excessive heat warning.

At least 70 large fires were burning across 13 states west of the Mississippi River, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. California had the most with 13, followed by Nevada with 12 and Idaho with 10, the center said.

The Marines joined the fight on Wednesday, with helicopter units from California joining U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units from Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina and California in fighting the fires by air. The Marine units will help fight fires around San Diego.

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