Rising Temps a Concern for Firefighters Battling Wildfires in California Heatwave

An unbearable heat wave across California is creating dangerous conditions for crews battling a number of wildfires in the state. Climate change may also be adding another hurdle for firefighters.

The rising temps makes matters worse. Typically, fires burn with less intensity at night, but that is not always happening now. Firefighters are struggling to control the fires as temperatures get hotter and the pressure mounts.

"As it gets hotter, firefighters are going to be facing more physical stress while they're working," San Jose Fire Department Capt. Robert Herrera said. "There will be a demand for shorter work cycles, more rest cycles put in there."

In Yolo County, the County Fire is as big as the City of Atlanta.

Firefighters are making progress with some of these wildfires, but still having a tough time with others.

Tim Brown with the Western Regional Climate Center said crews are not really getting a break at night when, historically, the weather would usually turn cooler.

"We see increases in daytime temperatures, but we're seeing more increase in the nighttime temperature," Brown said.

In California, firefighters are bracing for the worst.

"Incident commanders may call for additional resources," Herrera said. "The gear can be very heavy, cumbersome and warm. And as the temperatures go up that becomes more of an issue."

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