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A brush fire encroaches along Japatul Road as a helicopter drops water during the Valley Fire in Jamul, California on Sept. 6, 2020. SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

On a Labor Day weekend when the temperature hit 121 degrees in Los Angeles County, fire crews around California struggled to contain ongoing and growing blazes that have so far consumed more than 2 million acres this summer. That's equal to the entire state of Delaware going up in flames, according to the BBC.

The record heat coupled with dry and windy conditions is making the 22 fires in the state difficult for crews to contain. In a preventive measure, the state's power authority shut off electricity to 172,000 homes and businesses in 22 counties in Northern California. The power will not be fully restored until Wednesday evening, according to CNN.

The small mountain town of Big Creek in the Sierra Nevada mountain range saw trapped campers airlifted to safety while the fire burned through the town, destroying roughly two dozen homes, according to NBC News.

While a hydroelectric plant owned by Southern California Edison was destroyed, three propane tanks with 11,000 gallons of the flammable gas exploded and an elementary school caught fire.

The school's superintendent, Toby Wait, evacuated with his family, but his home was destroyed after they fled.

"Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation of this community," he said to The Fresno Bee, as NBC News reported.

The fire started on Friday and grew to burn nearly 80,000 acres Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is zero percent contained.

"This one's in a class by itself," said U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Dean Gould during a Monday night press briefing, as CNN reported.

Farther south, Los Angeles and Ventura county are under a red flag warning as the cooling temperatures after the weekend's record heat are expected to usher in high winds, which may fan the flames of ongoing fires.

The state's fire authorities are currently battling 24 fires across the state, according to the BBC.

While the red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is expected to last through Wednesday, the state will also see wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Northern California. Those high winds are particularly dangerous as they pose the threat of spreading flames over the dry vegetation that is parched after the weekend's heat, according to PG&E senior meteorologist Scott Strenfel, as CNN reported.

"Unfortunately, this wind event is occurring on the heels of the current heat wave and will produce critical fire potential conditions," Strenfel said, as CNN reported.

"Windy conditions, like those being forecast, increase the potential for damage and hazards to the electric infrastructure, which could cause sparks if lines are energized. These conditions also increase the potential for rapid fire spread," PG&E said in a news release on Monday.

All campgrounds across the state have been canceled in a season that has seen a record number of campers. The U.S. Forest Service said the following in a press release: "Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit."

According to the BBC, the Valley Fire in San Diego County has burned more than 10,000 acres near the small town of Alpine. In Angeles National Forest, the Bobcat fire has burned through nearly 5,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of the Mount Wilson Observatory.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills, California registers 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 19, 2020 during a second week of excessive heat and elevated fire danger. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The traditional end of summer weekend will feel more like mid-July in the West.

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The Dolan Fire destroyed a condor sanctuary in Big Sur, California. Melina Mara / The Washington Post via Getty Images

One of the many wildfires raging through California has destroyed a sanctuary for endangered condors, and the fate of at least four of the birds remains unknown.

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Support Ecowatch

Flames from the Lake Fire burn on a hillside near a fire truck and other vehicles on Aug. 12, 2020 in Lake Hughes, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images

An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.

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A plane drops fire retardant over a home as the Apple Fire burns during the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 1, 2020 in Cherry Valley, California. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California's first major wildfire this year has devoured more than 20,000 acres since Friday and forced thousands to flee their homes in the midst of a pandemic.

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A kangaroo rushes past a burning house in Lake Conjola, Australia on Dec. 31 2019. Bruce Detorres / Flickr

Unprecedented bushfires that ravaged Australia in 2019 and 2020 killed or displaced almost 3 billion animals, according to an interim report released Tuesday.

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The unprecedented and concurrent extreme conditions resemble the chaotic climate future scientists have been warning us about for decades. Master Sgt. Christopher DeWitt / U.S. Air Force / DoD / NASA

By Jeff Berardelli

From the historic heat wave and wildfires in the West, to the massive derecho that tore through the middle of the nation, to the record-breaking pace of this year's hurricane season, the unprecedented and concurrent extreme conditions resemble the chaotic climate future scientists have been warning us about for decades — only it's happening right now.

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The aftermath from the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, which killed 22 people in California's Sonoma and Napa counties. The National Guard / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Andrew J. Whelton and Caitlin R. Proctor

In recent years wildfires have entered urban areas, causing breathtaking destruction.

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Local residents sit next to a vineyard as they watch the LNU Lightning Complex fire burning in nearby hills on August 20, 2020 in Healdsburg, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Especially given the climate-fueled wildfires ravaging the region, conservationists sounded alarm Thursday in response to a Trump administration proposal for an oil and gas lease sale in California, which would be the state's first such federal auction in eight years.

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Trump and Paradise Mayor Jody Jones view damage from the Camp Fire in Paradise, California on Nov. 17, 2018. SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump wanted to cut off wildfire relief money to California because the state did not support his political goals, a former administration staffer has claimed.

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Portuguese students protest in front of the Portuguese Parliament on behalf of climate change on March 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. Horacio Villalobos / Corbis / Getty Images

By Holly Young

In what is being described as an unprecedented climate case, four children and two young adults from Portugal have filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against 33 industrialized countries.

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Agencies in California, Washington and British Columbia are sharing data and strategies to protect forests from wildfires. Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

Some of the largest wildfires on record have swept across the West in recent years.

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While these forests may still appear untouched when viewed from above, the green landscape seen from a plane or satellite can be deceptive. Melanie Jüngling / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Martin Kuebler

2020 is shaping up to be another destructive year for the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Deforestation — a grim precursor to the fires used to clear the land for development — has increased significantly, according to observers. And many experts fear the region could see a repeat of the destructive wildfires of last August and September.

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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

A brush fire encroaches along Japatul Road as a helicopter drops water during the Valley Fire in Jamul, California on Sept. 6, 2020. SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

On a Labor Day weekend when the temperature hit 121 degrees in Los Angeles County, fire crews around California struggled to contain ongoing and growing blazes that have so far consumed more than 2 million acres this summer. That's equal to the entire state of Delaware going up in flames, according to the BBC.

The record heat coupled with dry and windy conditions is making the 22 fires in the state difficult for crews to contain. In a preventive measure, the state's power authority shut off electricity to 172,000 homes and businesses in 22 counties in Northern California. The power will not be fully restored until Wednesday evening, according to CNN.

The small mountain town of Big Creek in the Sierra Nevada mountain range saw trapped campers airlifted to safety while the fire burned through the town, destroying roughly two dozen homes, according to NBC News.

While a hydroelectric plant owned by Southern California Edison was destroyed, three propane tanks with 11,000 gallons of the flammable gas exploded and an elementary school caught fire.

The school's superintendent, Toby Wait, evacuated with his family, but his home was destroyed after they fled.

"Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation of this community," he said to The Fresno Bee, as NBC News reported.

The fire started on Friday and grew to burn nearly 80,000 acres Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is zero percent contained.

"This one's in a class by itself," said U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Dean Gould during a Monday night press briefing, as CNN reported.

Farther south, Los Angeles and Ventura county are under a red flag warning as the cooling temperatures after the weekend's record heat are expected to usher in high winds, which may fan the flames of ongoing fires.

The state's fire authorities are currently battling 24 fires across the state, according to the BBC.

While the red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is expected to last through Wednesday, the state will also see wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Northern California. Those high winds are particularly dangerous as they pose the threat of spreading flames over the dry vegetation that is parched after the weekend's heat, according to PG&E senior meteorologist Scott Strenfel, as CNN reported.

"Unfortunately, this wind event is occurring on the heels of the current heat wave and will produce critical fire potential conditions," Strenfel said, as CNN reported.

"Windy conditions, like those being forecast, increase the potential for damage and hazards to the electric infrastructure, which could cause sparks if lines are energized. These conditions also increase the potential for rapid fire spread," PG&E said in a news release on Monday.

All campgrounds across the state have been canceled in a season that has seen a record number of campers. The U.S. Forest Service said the following in a press release: "Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit."

According to the BBC, the Valley Fire in San Diego County has burned more than 10,000 acres near the small town of Alpine. In Angeles National Forest, the Bobcat fire has burned through nearly 5,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of the Mount Wilson Observatory.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills, California registers 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 19, 2020 during a second week of excessive heat and elevated fire danger. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The traditional end of summer weekend will feel more like mid-July in the West.

Read More Show Less
The Dolan Fire destroyed a condor sanctuary in Big Sur, California. Melina Mara / The Washington Post via Getty Images

One of the many wildfires raging through California has destroyed a sanctuary for endangered condors, and the fate of at least four of the birds remains unknown.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch

Flames from the Lake Fire burn on a hillside near a fire truck and other vehicles on Aug. 12, 2020 in Lake Hughes, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images

An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A plane drops fire retardant over a home as the Apple Fire burns during the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 1, 2020 in Cherry Valley, California. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California's first major wildfire this year has devoured more than 20,000 acres since Friday and forced thousands to flee their homes in the midst of a pandemic.

Read More Show Less
A kangaroo rushes past a burning house in Lake Conjola, Australia on Dec. 31 2019. Bruce Detorres / Flickr

Unprecedented bushfires that ravaged Australia in 2019 and 2020 killed or displaced almost 3 billion animals, according to an interim report released Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
The unprecedented and concurrent extreme conditions resemble the chaotic climate future scientists have been warning us about for decades. Master Sgt. Christopher DeWitt / U.S. Air Force / DoD / NASA

By Jeff Berardelli

From the historic heat wave and wildfires in the West, to the massive derecho that tore through the middle of the nation, to the record-breaking pace of this year's hurricane season, the unprecedented and concurrent extreme conditions resemble the chaotic climate future scientists have been warning us about for decades — only it's happening right now.