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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hundreds of families are evacuated as record-breaking heatwave gripping the Southwest kills four and feeds wildfires across three states

Image result for The heat wave California, New Mexico and Arizona

At least four people have died from the blistering heat that has gripped the western United States and fed wildfires across three states, forcing hundreds of homes to be evacuated, authorities said on Monday.

The dead were three hikers and a mountain biker who succumbed to the heatwave in Arizona on Sunday, where record-breaking temperatures were reported in some areas.

The mercury hit 118 in Phoenix on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, breaking a record of 115 set for the date nearly 50 years ago. Some people in Arizona noticed the thermometers in their cars had spiked, with temperatures reading in the 120s.

Larry Subervi, spokesman for the Phoenix fire department, said temperatures on Sunday had soared to 120 degrees and the crushing heat was expected to get worse on Monday before easing the rest of the week.

At least four people have died from the blistering heat that has gripped the western United States and sparked wildfire warnings across the region, authorities said on Monday. Above, firefighters from Chino Hills keep watch on a wildfire near Potrero California

A Los Angeles City Fire Department helicopter flies over one of two wildfires in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa, California

Smoke from wildfires burning in Angeles National Forest fills the sky behind the Los Angeles skyline on Monday. The wildfires several miles apart devoured hundreds of acres of brush

He said one of the victims was an experienced 28-year-old female mountain biker who had embarked on a two-and-a-half-hour ride in the Phoenix area with enough water, but got overwhelmed by the heat.

The other victims were a 25-year-old man who died while hiking on the Peralta Trail near Gold Canyon, a 19-year-old woman who died while hiking in the Tuscon area and a man who was found dead near another trail.

'We have a heatwave every year, but we are close to our all-time record in 1990 of 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius),' he told AFP.

The heatwave has fed wildfires in California, New Mexico and Arizona, forcing evacuations in some areas.

Some 140 families were evacuated in the Santa Barbara area of California where about 2,000 firefighters for several days have been battling the so-called Sherpa fire that has already burned nearly 8,000 acres (3,200 hectares).

Credit to Mail online

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3650795/Southwest-grapples-soaring-temperatures.html#ixzz4CBKeso77

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