The Beckwourth Complex fireWildfires are raging in the west of the United States as the region is hit by a heatwave that has brought record temperatures to several areas.

Communities have been told to evacuate as firefighters struggle to battle the blazes in the extreme conditions. In California, residents were urged to cut power consumption after interstate power lines were knocked out. On Saturday, two firefighters in Arizona died when their aircraft crashed while responding to a blaze. Meanwhile, Las Vegas, Nevada, matched its all-time temperature high of 47.2C (117F) on Saturday.

Firefighters battling the many wildfires in the region say the air is so dry that much of the water dropped by aircraft to quell the flames evaporates before it reaches the ground.

It comes just weeks after another dangerous heatwave hit North America, in which hundreds of sudden deaths were recorded, many of them suspected of being heat-related.

The region experienced its hottest June on record, according to the EU’s Earth observation programme.

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