In the midst of a heat wave, Californian firefighters are battling several fires – rts.ch

In the midst of a heat wave, Californian firefighters are battling several fires – rts.ch
In the midst of a heat wave, Californian firefighters are battling several fires – rts.ch

California firefighters are battling multiple wildfires this weekend amid a heat wave, including one near the famed Yosemite National Park.

The U.S. weather service said “dangerous” heat would spread across the western part of the country early this weekend. “Record temperatures are expected to be tied or broken,” it added.

Temperatures of up to 47 degrees were already recorded in California on Friday, as the heat wave hitting the region nears its peak.

The heat wave comes over the July 4 holiday weekend, when millions of Americans celebrate the United States Declaration of Independence by setting off fireworks that can create wildfires in dry conditions.

A California firefighter extinguishes a fire in Mariposa on July 5. [AFP – JOSH EDELSON]

Yosemite Park Affected

A fire broke out in the town of Mariposa, near Yosemite National Park. It burned more than 400 hectares and was 20% contained, according to the latest point position firefighters on Saturday. Residents were allowed to return to their homes.

The cause is not yet known. In the north of the state, firefighters managed to partially control a violent fire that had forced several thousand residents to evacuate the area.

A very real risk

However, the threat persists, particularly due to the high temperatures forecast in the region for the coming week.

Repeated heat waves are a marker of global warming linked to climate change, scientists say.

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