At least 22 large fires are burning in California, where dry, windy conditions and record-breaking high temperatures have been fueling flames for weeks in some areas.
The El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, which officials say was sparked Saturday morning by a pyrotechnic device used during a gender reveal party. That blaze has scorched 10,574 acres and was 16% contained as of Tuesday morning, officials said.
Three groups of fires largely triggered by lightning last month in Northern California — the SCU, CZU and LNU lightning complex fires — are mostly contained after collectively burning more than 858,000 acres.
Weather conditions will mean high fire risks from Washington to Arizona — including much of California — Tuesday and Wednesday. As of Tuesday morning, areas covering more than 38 million people in six Western states were under red flag warnings, which caution that conditions likely to start or spread fires — strong winds and dry conditions — were imminent or happening.
Wind gusts of 30 to 55 mph are possible in parts of California on Wednesday, CNN meteorologists said.
“Wind like this will fuel (fires) and move them along. If you get evacuation notices today, you need to pay attention to them. These fires will be moving very, very quickly,” CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said.
More than 75 large wildfires are burning across the United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, and California has been the hardest hit state. More than 4.6 million acres have been burned nationwide so far this year, according to the NIFC. More than 2.09 million of those acres have burned in California, Cal Fire has said.