Many families are dealing with the agony of losing their homes this morning as the west coast wildfires continue to rage. Dozens of large fires are burning in 13 states west of the Mississippi River, with most of them in California, Nevada and Idaho.
In western Washington State, there's a new concern: Lightning. Much of the region is now under a rare 'fire weather watch.' Still, fire commanders there are cautiously optimistic. They declared the Taylor Bridge Fire 33% contained last night. They hope to have the 22,000 acre fire completely contained by Sunday.
Meteorologist Rob Marciano explains on "Early Start" this morning what a fire weather watch is, whether relief will come any time soon and what emergency officials are doing to minimize the risk.
(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.
(CNN) – The U.S. Air Force is grounding all firefighting-equipped C-130 planes after the fatal crash of one in southwestern South Dakota, the military said Monday.
Air Force spokesman Todd Spitler announced that C-130s with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, or MAFFS, won't fly until further notice. The South Dakota crash follows another crash of a non-military firefighing air tanker, along the Nevada-Utah border, several weeks earlier.
On "Early Start" this morning, CNN's Jim Spellman explains why the military decided to ground the plane, and how Colorado wildfire officials may have to change their strategy to account for the loss of the planes.
Rob Marciano reports on the weather conditions preventing first responders from containing the Colorado wildfire.
(CNN) – Firefighters again will battle inferno-like conditions on Wednesday as they try to tame an explosive wildfire that has already chased some 32,000 residents from their homes near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"This is a firestorm of epic proportions," Richard Brown, the Colorado Springs Fire chief, said late Tuesday. Winds gusting to 65 mph through mountain canyons blew the wildfire through containment lines into northwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon.
Gov. John Hickenlooper surveyed the Waldo Canyon Fire, telling reporters it was a difficult sight to see.
"There were people's home's burned to the ground. It was surreal," he said late Tuesday night. "There's no question, it's serious. It's as serious as it gets."
The 15,000+-acre fire remained only 5% contained. Officials labeled it as exhibiting "extreme fire behavior."
KMGH's Eric Lupher reports on the latest this morning on "Early Start."