- More than 1,200 firefighters continued to fight the Tamarack blaze near Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada.
- in Oregon, the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire, reached 624 square miles on Thursday, just over half the size of Rhode Island.
- Nearly 80 large forest fires are now burning in the United States, including 19 in Montana.
A large wildfire in northern California spread to Nevada on Wednesday evening, prompting more evacuations, as teams battling the nation’s largest fire in Oregon were aided by better weather.
At the same time, smoke from wildfires in the West continued to spread across the country on Thursday, bringing hazy skies and poor air quality to many places.
More than 1,200 firefighters fought the Tamarack fire near Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada on Thursday. The fire burned more than 68 square miles of national forest.
A voluntary evacuation request was issued for parts of Douglas County, Nevada, as the blaze spread across the state border. An evacuation center has been set up at a community center in Gardnerville, Nevada.
Firefighters expected active or extreme fire behavior on Thursday, which could see winds of 14 mph and temperatures approaching 90 degrees.
To the northwest, the Dixie Fire spread over the western flank of the Sierra Nevada, stretching over 162 square miles. The western shore of a resort lake and many other small communities were subject to evacuation orders.
Meanwhile, in Oregon, the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire, reached 624 square miles on Thursday, just over half the size of Rhode Island.
However, authorities said lower winds and temperatures allowed crews to improve lines of fire in the blaze. The blaze was also approaching an area burned by a previous blaze on its active southeast flank, giving hope that the lack of fuel could reduce its spread.
The blaze, which is fought by more than 2,200 people, is about a third contained.
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Nearly 80 major forest fires are burning in the United States, including 19 in Montana. In addition, more than 200 fires are burning in Manitoba and Ontario, according to Canadian officials.
More than 21,700 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to wildfires across the United States, the National Interagency Fire Center said.
The forecast was not as promising in other parts of the country: the National Weather Service said that “high to critical fire weather conditions extend from the northern Sierra Nevada to northwestern Montana, where forest fires are likely to spread uncontrollably “Thursday.
According to the US Drought Monitor, smoke and other particles from fires in the western United States and Canada spread downwind across the United States, producing hazy skies and reducing the quality of air – in some cases thousands of kilometers from the points of origin.
Although a cold front has swept the sky in the northeast overnight, the smoke is still expected to be thickest in the Carolinas, the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, the Great Lakes and the upper Midwest on Thursday. , said the meteorological service. As a result, air quality alerts have been issued for many locations, from Minnesota to North Carolina.
In North Carolina, the weather service warned that “air quality is expected to reach code orange, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups and means people with respiratory and / or heart disease, the elderly and children should reduce prolonged or intense outdoor efforts “.
A growing body of research indicates potential long-term health damage from inhaling microscopic smoke particles, with millions of people potentially at risk away from where huge fires burn.
Contribution: The Associated Press