Southwest US states bake, wildfire threatens Arizona towns
High temperature marks didn't fall Saturday, but Phoenix reached a sweltering high of 115 degrees (46 C) for the day and Las Vegas hit 111 degrees (44 C). Both were 3 degrees shy of records for the date, forecasters said.
Neither city was expected to reach record highs on Sunday of 118 degrees (48 C) in Phoenix and 117 degrees (47.2 C) in Las Vegas.
In Arizona, fire officials blamed extreme heat for the spread of a wildfire that started late Wednesday and grew by Saturday to nearly 27 square miles (70 square kilometers) near Strawberry and Pine, mountain towns east of Interstate 17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
Evacuations were ordered Friday while aircraft and about 100 firefighters fought flames in rugged pinyon juniper, chaparral, brush and cactus. Officials reported zero containment and scheduled a virtual community meeting late Saturday on Facebook to update residents on efforts to suppress the fire.
Las Vegas tied a record Saturday for the highest low daily temperature, at 88 degrees (31 C), and Phoenix notched 91 degrees (32.7 C) to eclipse its so-called high-minimum mark of 86 degrees (30 C) set in 1959.
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