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August 16th, 2012
05:35 AM ET

Wildfires raging in 13 western states – Rob Marciano on why conditions may worsen

(CNN) - Blistering hot temperatures will blast the normally tepid Pacific Northwest again Thursday as dozens of wildfires burn across large sections of the western United States.

The mercury is expected to soar near triple digits in Portland, Oregon, with Seattle forecast to reach the lower 90s, the National Weather Service said. The coastal region is roasting under an excessive heat warning.

At least 70 large fires were burning across 13 states west of the Mississippi River, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. California had the most with 13, followed by Nevada with 12 and Idaho with 10, the center said.

The Marines joined the fight on Wednesday, with helicopter units from California joining U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units from Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina and California in fighting the fires by air. The Marine units will help fight fires around San Diego.

In California alone, 8,000 firefighters were fighting a dozen fires, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Wednesday. The state issued a burn ban, saying only some campfires are allowed.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano reports from Cle Elum, WA on the latest in efforts to battle the wildfires.

Read more on raging western wildfires


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