More than 6,000 people, most of whom live in small high-altitude communities, have already been evacuated on Saturday, according to a California fire department spokesperson.
< p class="e-p">A massive fire that has been raging in a California forest since Friday continues to spread on Sunday. It prompted the evacuation of thousands of people as extreme heat affects tens of millions of Americans nationwide.
Called Oak Fire, this fire extends near Yosemite National Park and its famous giant sequoias. It has grown significantly in the northern portion and moved further into the Sierra National Forest, according to a bulletin issued Sunday by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. p>
Favored by extreme drought, winds and rising temperatures, the fire, fought by some 2,000 firefighters, burned at least 5,500 hectares of forest, destroyed 10 properties, damaged five others and threatened more than 2,500, said a spokeswoman for this department.
More than 6,000 people, most of whom live in small high-altitude communities, have already been evacuated on Saturday, according to another California fire department spokesperson, quoted by the Los Angeles Times. A state of emergency was declared by state governor Gavin Newsom.
Yosemite Park, one of the most famous in the world, had experienced a fire in mid-July, the flames of which had threatened its giant redwoods.
The American West has already experienced wildfires of exceptional scale and intensity in recent years, with a markedly lengthening of the fire season, a phenomenon that scientists attribute to climate change .
Some 2000 firefighters have been mobilized to fight the fire that has been raging in California since Friday.
< p class="e-p">Oak Fire is one of the most dramatic manifestations of the heat wave affecting the United States this weekend in the northwest, center and northeast. A map from the National Weather Service (NWS) shows a very large swath of the country, including California, all of the south, and then much of the east coast, hit by temperatures ranging from 37°C to 43°C.
It will be extremely oppressive, especially in the major metropolitan areas of Washington, New York and Boston, the NWS wrote on Twitter.
Scientists have predicted these extraordinary and catastrophic events for decades now, former US Vice President Al Gore, who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his commitment to the climate, reaffirmed on ABC News on Sunday.
Today they say if we don't stop using our atmosphere as a garbage can and if we don't stop these [greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse] that trap heat, things will get worse. More people will be killed and the survival of our civilization is at stake, he added.
West America has experienced wildfires of exceptional magnitude and intensity in recent years.