(CNN) — Thousands have been ordered to evacuate in Northern California due to a wildfire burning in Butte County, as an “exceptionally dangerous and lethal” heat wave in the West ramps up.

Soaring temperatures – which will continue into next week – have dried out already parched vegetation, increasing the wildfire risk across the region.

A local emergency was declared, and evacuations were ordered on Tuesday evening for some residents in the city of Oroville, as the Thompson Fire continues to burn in Butte County, according to local officials.

The fire has burned more than 3,000 acres in the North Oroville community and was zero percent contained Tuesday, Cal Fire said in an incident update.

Oroville is about 65 miles north of Sacramento with a population of around 15,000.

About 13,000 residents in communities to the east of Lake Oroville were ordered to evacuate, according to Butte County Sheriff’s Office. 

“The fire has jumped the diversion pool on the Feather River and is making runs toward Olive Highway in the Kelly Ridge area,” Cal Fire said in a Tuesday update.

Around 400 fire personnel are assigned to the wildfire, with six helicopters and six air tankers assisting, the Cal Fire incident update said.

Red flag warnings are in effect across the West, including in the fire zone, because of extreme heat, gusty winds and low humidity. Already high temperatures will only ramp up Wednesday as an exceptional, long-lasting heat wave begins.

The Basin Fire in Fresno County has burned with more than 13,000 acres and is currently only 26% contained.

“Outdoor burning and especially fireworks are not recommended,” the weather service in San Francisco warned ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

More than 85 million people across parts of the south-central US and West will be under heat alerts this week.

The heat wave is “exceptionally dangerous and lethal,” the weather service in San Francisco said, warning that “an event of this scale, magnitude, and longevity will likely rival anything we’ve seen in the last 18 years for inland areas.”

The heat began Tuesday across parts of the West, where numerous daily high temperature records were tied or broken:


  • Ukiah, California: 110 degrees (tied old record set in 1924 and 2013)
  • Concord Airport, California: 107 degrees (old record 104 degrees, set in 2001)
  • Santa Rosa Airport, California: 106 degrees (old record 101 degrees, set in 2001)
  • Napa Airport, California: 102 degrees (old record 101, set in 2001)
  • San Jose, California: 102 degrees (tied old record, set in 1970)


Some cities could swelter through multiple days of temperatures well above 100 degrees with some, including Sacramento, California, potentially seeing a full week of highs over 105 degrees.

Most of California outside of the immediate coastline is under excessive heat warnings. High temperatures from the upper 90s to as high as 115 degrees are possible.

Las Vegas could see high temperatures all week over 110 degrees. The current record is 10 consecutive days set last year. Death Valley could see high temperatures at or above 120 degrees all week.

Heat is expected to spread to the Northwest and to parts of Arizona including Phoenix by the weekend, where triple digit temperatures are expected, with parts of Arizona seeing highs above 110 degrees.

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