Jun 19, 2016

Wildfires rage as record heat wave blisters West

California
Arizona
New Mexico
USA
by
Kris Maher and Rebecca Smith
,
Wall Street Journal
Firefighters battle an expanding wildfire Friday night near Santa Barbara, California. Photo: AFP / Getty
Firefighters battle an expanding wildfire Friday night near Santa Barbara, California. Photo: AFP / Getty

Wildfires blazed Sunday in Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico, forcing hundreds to evacuate as a triple-digit heat wave threatened to intensify the searing conditions and hamper firefighting efforts.

A powerful high-pressure system sitting over the Four Corners region in the Southwest was driving temperatures to record levels. Phoenix was expected to hit 119 degrees on Sunday, breaking the record of 115 degrees set in 1968. Burbank, Calif., was forecast to reach 108 degrees on Monday, two degrees above the record set in 2008.

Southern California has been primed for wildfires after more than four years of drought has left hillsides covered with dried brush and grasses