Firefighters in Southern California are battling three wildfires that broke out Friday afternoon amid a sweltering heat wave.
The fires were only about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from each other, in a mostly rural area of Riverside County southeast of Los Angeles.
Nearly 1,000 homes received evacuation orders, but no damage to people or property was immediately reported, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Fighting, known as Cal Fire, said.
Two of the conflagrations had already stopped growing by hours of the night. The third, however, grew “rapidly” to more than 5 square kilometers (2 square miles) in a few hours, Cal Fire said on social media.
Hundreds of firefighters were dispatched to the area. This weekend California is forecast to experience its hottest temperatures so far this year, with Riverside County one of those under an extreme heat advisory.
Even higher temperatures are forecast for Nevada, Arizona and California. In some desert areas the temperature will reach 48.8 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and 32.2 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) at night.
California leaders have warned of the danger of fires.
“As we move further into summer and the vegetation that grew in the spring dries up, we will see an increase in fires,” California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said Wednesday.
The causes of all three fires are being investigated, Cal Fire said.
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