California, other parts of the West broil and burn

California power operators urge energy conservation as the state battles its largest wildfire this year. In Oregon, the flow of electricity has been disrupted.

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National News

July 12, 2021 - 9:39 AM

Sunset obscured by smoke-filled skies where Sequoia trees had grown on this Sierra Nevada ridgetop for well over 500 years. Giant Sequoia National Monument on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Springville, California. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Firefighters working in searing heat struggled to contain the largest wildfire in California this year while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines.

A large swath of the West baked during the weekend in triple-digit temperatures that were expected to continue into the start of the work week. The California Independent System Operator that manages the state’s power grid issued a five-hour “flex alert” starting at 4 p.m. Monday and asked consumers to “conserve as much electricity as possible” to avoid any outages.

California and other parts of the West are sinking deeper into drought and that has sent fire danger sky high in many areas. In Arizona, a small plane crashed Saturday during a survey of a wildfire in rural Mohave County, killing both crew members.

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