US West Swelters In Record-Busting Heat, Risking Wildfires

Jun 16, 2021

Dangerous, record-busting heat is spreading across the U.S. Southwest and into parts of Utah, Montana and Wyoming. 

A pedestrian takes a bottle of water at a Salvation Army hydration station during a heatwave as temperatures hit 115-degrees, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Phoenix.
Credit AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin


It's caused by a dome of high pressure that's hovering over a large swath of the region, pushing temperatures into the triple digits this week and intensifying the risk for wildfires amid a long-running drought. Some of the highest temperatures are in bone-dry Arizona, where the National Weather Service has forecast a record high of 117 degrees Tuesday in Phoenix. The previous high for the date was 115 degrees in 1974. The excessive heat stretched from southeast California across Arizona and Nevada and into New Mexico. Utah set a heat record for the second day in a row.