High heat, fire danger to persist across western US

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 17, 2018, 1:06:47 PM EDT

Hot and dry summer weather is expected to persist over a large part of the western U.S. this week, perpetuating the wildfire threat and risk of heat-related illness.

Throughout Washington, Oregon, Northern California and much of the interior Northwest, temperatures will persist at above-average levels through at least the first half of the week.

"High pressure will remain in place over the West, limiting the chances for rain or a cooldown," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel.

High temperatures in the Seattle area will rise to near 90 F again on Tuesday, despite an average high temperature of just 76. The mercury in Seattle soared to 92 F on Monday.

Static NW Heat Tuesday

In Portland, temperatures will reach into the 90s again on Tuesday. Along with strong sunshine, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will approach 100, increasing the threat of heat-related illness.

Anyone planning on spending time outdoors should be sure to spend as much time in the shade as possible and drink plenty of water. Those without air conditioning in their residence should take care to keep their homes as cool as possible and spend time in public air-conditioned places.

In addition to heat-related illness and an increased demand on the power grid, this heat and sunshine will perpetuate the high fire threat.

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In addition to the dry air and heat, periods of gusty winds are in store.

"These conditions are a recipe for dangerous wildfire weather," Samuhel said.

Residents and tourists will need to take care to completely extinguish all barbecues and camp fires, or to avoid lighting them altogether.

A Heavy Fire Equipment Operator firefighter was killed while working on the Ferguson Fire in Marisposa County, California, on Saturday night. The fire is burning in the Merced River Canyon.

wildfires 7/15

The Ferguson Fire has burned 12,500 acres as of Tuesday morning. The fire, which is close to Yosemite National Park, is only 5 percent contained. The fire has forced the closure of State Route 140, one of the park's main entrances.

By the end of the week, cooler weather is expected to infiltrate the Pacific Northwest, limiting daily high temperatures to more comfortable levels.

Regardless, with dry weather forecast to continue for at least the next week, new and spreading wildfires will continue to threaten areas throughout the western U.S.

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