Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in Northern California due to a wildfire raging in Butte County, as an “exceptionally dangerous and deadly” heat wave intensifies in the West.

Rising temperatures – which will continue into next week – have dried out already arid vegetation, increasing the risk of forest fires in the region.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the area where the fire was burning, allowing for additional resources, including the ability to mobilize the California National Guard in support.

The governor’s proclamation cites “continued high temperatures throughout the day and night, dry conditions, and strong winds” that have increased the intensity and spread of the fire.

A local state of emergency was also declared and some residents in the city of Oroville were ordered to evacuate Tuesday night as the Thompson Fire continues to burn in Butte County, local officials said.

Cal Fire reported around noon local time on Wednesday that the fire had grown to more than 3,500 acres and was zero percent contained.

One of the people evacuated Tuesday was Arielle Penick, 24, who also left her Paradise home during the deadly Camp Fire in 2018.

Ethan Swope/AP

According to CalFire, the Thompson fire was zero percent contained as of Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon, Penick, who is pregnant, packed her belongings in Oroville, along with her 5-year-old son, her fiancé and her fiancé’s two children.

“All we see is a plume of smoke in the sky. And the PSTD from the Camp Fire hit right away, especially with how big the smoke was,” Penick said.

“We gathered as much stuff as we could. Our three dogs, our dog beds, all the dog food, my kids’ favorite toys, all their diapers and wipes, their favorite bedding, their chairs,” she said.

Penick is now staying with a friend who also survived the Camp Fire.

Four firefighters battling the blaze were injured, Cal Fire said. More than 1,400 firefighters are battling the flames, along with eight helicopters and numerous firefighting aircraft, the agency said.

About 13,000 people in Butte County, including northeastern parts of Oroville, were ordered to evacuate, according to the sheriff’s office.

Oroville is located about 65 miles north of Sacramento and has a population of about 15,000. The city is about 20 miles south of Paradise, where the Camp Fire in 2018 killed more than 70 people. Some residents affected by that fire eventually moved to Oroville.

The Fourth of July fireworks celebration in the city of Oroville was canceled by California State Parks on Wednesday as firefighters continue to battle the blaze, the department said in a news release.

“Due to the large evacuations and damage caused by the Thompson Fire, State Parks and partner organizations … have a significant amount of resources to protect the community and get everyone back home as quickly as possible,” State Parks said. “These organizations also have employees with families displaced by these evacuations who are working tirelessly to help the Lake Oroville community.”

Red flag warnings are in effect across the west, including the fire zone, due to extreme heat, gusty winds and low humidity. The already high temperatures are set to increase on Wednesday as an exceptionally long heat wave begins.

Oroville will see record temperatures of 110 degrees or more over the next five days, with temperatures possibly reaching 110 degrees on Saturday. a record high of 113, making it even more difficult for firefighters to fight the blaze.

Ethan Swope/AP

Several high temperature records have been broken in California, with more records expected this week.

The Basin Fire in Fresno County has burned more than 13,000 acres and is currently only 26% contained.

“Outdoor lighting and especially fireworks is discouraged,” the weather service in San Francisco warned ahead of Independence Day.

Nationally, heat warnings are in effect for more than 150 million people in at least 22 states across parts of the Mid-South and West.

The heat wave is “exceptionally dangerous and deadly,” the weather service in San Francisco said, warning that “an event of this magnitude, scope and duration would likely rival anything we have seen inland in the past 18 years.”

The heat set in on Tuesday in parts of the West, where numerous daily records for highest temperatures were tied or broken:

  • Ukiah, California: 110 degrees (tied record set in 1924 and 2013)
  • Concord Airport, California: 107 degrees (old record 104 degrees, set in 2001)
  • Santa Rosa, California Airport: 106 degrees (old record 101 degrees, set in 2001)
  • Napa Airport, California: 102 degrees (old record 101, set in 2001)
  • San Jose, California: 102 degrees (tied record, set in 1970)

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The National Weather Service in San Francisco warned people not to set off fireworks in dangerous weather conditions.

In some cities, it can be hot for days with temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In Sacramento, it can even be over 104 degrees Fahrenheit for a whole week.

Most of California outside the immediate coastline is under extreme heat warnings, with high temperatures in the upper 90s and as high as 115 degrees possible.

Las Vegas could see temperatures of over 110 degrees Celsius all week. The current record is 10 consecutive days set last year. Death Valley could see temperatures of 120 degrees Celsius or higher all week.

The heat is expected to spread to the northwest and parts of Arizona, including Phoenix, over the weekend, with temperatures expected to top 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with highs of over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of Arizona.

A 10-year-old died Tuesday in Arizona after experiencing a heat-related emergency while hiking with family at South Mountain Park and Preserve, authorities said. First responders performed an active mountain rescue and airlifted the child to a hospital, where he later died, Phoenix police said.

A 69-year-old hiker from Austin, Texas, died Saturday in the Grand Canyon, the National Park Service said. Scott Sims lost consciousness on the trail, and attempts by bystanders and paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful.

Park rangers warn that temperatures on the trail can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade in the summer. They advise against hiking during daylight hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The rangers say that assistance to hikers may be delayed in the summer due to increased demand and limited resources.