EXTREME temperatures and intense drought threaten to spark apocalyptic wildfires across the West Coast of the US.
A heat dome has engulfed California, Nevada, and Arizona in recent weeks as western states could face their worst drought in over 1,000 years.
Temperatures reached 116F in Las Vegas and 115F in Phoenix and California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency.
He warned that the state’s electricity grid was under extreme pressure as fears grow that it cannot cope with the scorching temperatures, MailOnline reports.
Kathleen Johnson, a scientist at the University of California told the Guardian: "This doesn’t bode well in terms of what we can expect with wildfire and the worsening drought.
“This current drought is potentially on track to become the worst that we’ve seen in at least 1,200 years."
Fears about devastating wildfires come after heat warnings were issued for 50million Americans last week.
Weather officials issued Red Flag warnings and heat advisories for states including California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
Temperatures in Phoenix hit 117F on June 15 while in Salt Lake City, the mercury soared to 107F.
The National Weather Service said at the time: "We have now tied the highest temperature EVER recorded at Salt Lake City in any month of the year, in the last 147 years of records.
"It has only happened twice before: July 2002 and July 1960."
And, in Colorado, temperatures in Denver soared to 101F on June 15.
Meteorologist Bill Murrell said: "This is happening in the middle of June. This is unprecedented."
California is notorious for wildfires during periods of extreme heat as dry land is scorched.
Thousands were evacuated from their homes following a blaze in Silverado Canyon in December.
It was sparked by a house fire that had consumed 3,600 acres of land.
The structure fire had extended into nearby vegetation as gusts reached up to 80mph.
It exploded in size throughout the night and as the sun came up, an enormous plume of smoke was visible for miles.
Southern California Edison power was forced to cut power to around 15,000 homes in what was of the utility's largest precautionary blackouts.
Scientists confirmed 2020 was the second hottest year on record as they warned Earth was teetering towards the brink of a "climate emergency".
Global average temperatures hit 1.2C (2.16F) above pre-industrial levels by the end of 2020.
UN Security General Antonio Guterres said the 2020 climate report illustrated how close the planet is towards a “climate catastrophe”.
He said: "Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal.
"Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury."
The climate report revealed that temperature averages across the last five years, and across the last decade, "are also the warmest on record"
Wildfires wreaked havoc across the state as a blaze destroyed a famous Napa Valley winery last September.
Within 12 hours, some 2,500 acres had been burned by the inferno.
The wildfire was caused by a firework at a gender reveal party and torched at least 13,000 acres of land.
California wildfires scorched some 3.7million acres of land in 2020 and were among the most devastating since records began.
Former President Donald Trump previously suggested poor forest management was the blame for the fires.
He criticized state and local officials for not "cutting" and clearing the area to help prevent the spread of the fires.
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