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California Swept by Heat Wave, Grapples with Severe Wildfires

Amidst a relentless heat wave, California firefighters were engaged in battling multiple wildfires as of Friday, July 5, with a new blaze erupting near the renowned Yosemite National Park, while significant headway was achieved in containing another fire further north.

Record-high temperatures, soaring up to 47 degrees Celsius, gripped the western US state on Friday as the peak of the region’s heat wave approached.

The heat wave coincided with the July 4 holiday weekend, traditionally marked by celebrations of the US Declaration of Independence, often accompanied by fireworks that pose a wildfire risk in dry conditions.

Near Yosemite National Park, a fire ignited in the town of Mariposa on Thursday evening, scorching over 1,000 acres of land. As of Friday afternoon, fire officials reported the blaze was 15% contained, allowing some residents to return home despite ongoing firefighting efforts.

In Northern California, firefighters successfully gained control over 55% of a significant fire that had previously prompted the evacuation of several thousand residents. However, concerns persist due to forecasts predicting continued high temperatures in the region throughout the upcoming week.

Scientists emphasize that recurring heat waves are indicative of global warming associated with climate change, underscoring the broader environmental implications of these weather patterns.

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