More than 40 million people in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho have received excessive heat warnings over Labor Day weekend due to the latest weather systems.
“Anomalously warm air masses are likely to match or break wide-ranging high and low temperature records this weekend, from the northern Rockies to the Great Basin to Southern California,” the National Weather Service said.
NV Energy, a power company that serves more than 1.5 million homes and businesses throughout Nevada, is asking residents to reduce their electricity use between 5pm and 8pm to avoid straining the grid. did.
The provider also asked residents to avoid using large appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines between 10am and 8pm.
Similarly, in California, millions of people have been encouraged to reduce their electricity use for four consecutive days from 4pm to 9pm on Saturday.
The California Independent Grid Operator, which controls 80% of the state’s power grid, issued yet another Flex Alert on Friday, urging residents to be careful with their electricity usage.
“As heat rises in the forecast for California and the West, grid operators are anticipating high demand for electricity again over Labor Day weekend and into next week, primarily from air-conditioning use,” said the operator. explained.
Operators also asked residents to pre-cool their homes by 4 p.m., set thermostats to 78 degrees during maintenance hours, and avoid charging electric vehicles.
“This prolonged heatwave will affect the 20 most populous cities on the West Coast, as well as coastal locations such as San Francisco and Los Angeles,” said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Damme. said.
The National Weather Service has warned that extended weather conditions are expected to spark wildfires in the western United States this weekend.
Severe temperatures fuel wildfires
In addition to the state of emergency declared in response to the heat wave, California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared another state of emergency for Siskiyou County in the upstate state.
The fire destroyed homes, caused power outages and forced residents to evacuate their homes, according to the governor’s office. Civilian injuries have been reported by authorities, but it’s unclear how many were affected. is.
Crew members are also battling a root fire that erupted around noon Wednesday in northern Los Angeles County near Castaic. By Friday evening, he had ballooned to over 5,200 acres at a containment rate of 56 percent, according to CAL FIRE.
“The behavior of the fire and what you saw[on Wednesday]should alert us all to the potential that we are in, and the state of the fire, the very rapid fire that is going on. It comes in in a few days.It grows and has very explosive fire behavior,” said Robert Garcia, Director of the Los Angeles National Forest Service.
The cause of both fires is under investigation.
CNN’s Taylor Romine, Paradise Afshar, and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.