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Northern California wildfire spreads to nearly 20,000 acres

A massive wildfire currently raging in Northern California’s Siskiyou County has spread to a total of 19,680 acres, with 25% containment, according to the latest information from InciWeb, an interstate incident information system.

The Lava Fire, which erupted on June 24 due to lightning, exploded in size throughout Monday, fuelled by strong and erratic winds amid record heat.

On Monday morning, the fire had torched only some 1,446 acres with 20% containment.

The blaze burning about three miles northeast of Weed, a city with 2,700 residents, forced local authorities to issue evacuation orders to thousands of people living in communities nearby.

Meanwhile, another wildfire, dubbed the Tennant Fire, broke out on the eastern side of the Klamath National Forest on Monday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

It grew to 9,439 acres as of Thursday with 6% contained.

While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in the state and across the US West Coast is starting earlier and ending later with every passing year.

Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend, Cal Fire said.

Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire, it noted.

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