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California wildfire grows amid heatwave

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A fast-moving wildfire in California continues to grow in size amid sweltering temperatures, firefighters say.

The Oak Fire has now burned 15,603 acres of land and is still “zero per cent contained” although it is not as extreme as in the previous days, California’s fire department has said.

More than 6,000 people have been evacuated and 10 structures destroyed. 3,271 structures, both homes and businesses, are under threat, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.

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A state of emergency was declared in Mariposa County on Saturday, and will allow the state to access some federal assistance to tackle the fires.

The blaze marks a threatening start to California’s wildfire season and officials have warned that a combination of drought, climate change, and overgrown vegetation are posing significant challenges and increasing the chances of the fire spreading rapidly.

Much of the United States is sweltering through a heatwave and heat advisory warnings are in effect in more than a dozen states.—BBC

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