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More than 70 wildfires burn in the US West amid drought

Other News Materials 16 August 2012 20:19
The number of wildfires across the west of the United States had increased to more than 70 on Thursday, the US Forest Service said, as thousands of firefighters battled to get blazes under control, reported dpa.
More than 70 wildfires burn in the US West amid drought

The number of wildfires across the west of the United States had increased to more than 70 on Thursday, the US Forest Service said, as thousands of firefighters battled to get blazes under control, reported dpa.

Dry conditions have been exacerbated by a severe drought across much of the country.

In California alone, some 8,000 firefighters were working against 13 fires and the military had been called into help, with marines using helicopters against a blaze near San Diego, CNN reported.

Also hard hit were the north-western coastal states of Washington and Oregon - along with interior states including Nevada, Utah and Idaho - according to a daily fire mapping report by the US Department of Agriculture's forest service. CNN reported that 900 people had been evacuated in the region.

More than two-thirds of the lower 48 states are suffering drought. Temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and higher make firefighting more difficult, and normally cool Oregon and Washington state were facing more high temperatures Thursday.

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