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100 million in U.S. under heat-related warnings as dangerous and record-breaking heat wave slams states

Millions of Americans under heat alert
Millions of Americans are under excessive heat warnings and advisories 02:55

More than 100 million people in the U.S. are under an excessive heat warning or a heat advisory Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. This comes as a dangerous heat wave continues to march across south-central states into the Northeast region. 

Above-normal temperatures reaching into the triple digits are expected over the next several days across large portions of the southern Plains, the lower Mississippi Valley, the lower Ohio Valley and parts of the Tennessee Valley, the NWS said. 

High temperatures are expected to break several daily records in states including Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas on Wednesday. Meanwhile, high heat across the northeast is forecast to be coupled with high humidity, pushing heat indices up to the low 100s throughout the region. 

And the western U.S. is expected to experience above-normal temperatures as well, in the valleys of south-central California, according to the NWS. An additional increase in temperatures could slam the area even harder later this week. 

Nationwide, approximately 85 wildfires are burning across 13 states amidst the heat, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. On the Arizona and Nevada border, part of the Hoover Dam briefly caught fire in the heat after a transformer exploded in 109 degree heat. 

The NWS warns those under heat-related warnings to know the signs of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke, as the body's ability to cool itself is challenged in extremely hot and humid weather. 

In one case, officials are investigating the death of an 11-month-old child who was "left in a parked vehicle for an extended period of time" in hot weather. According to the National Safety Council, 10 heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles have been reported so far this year. 

To combat heat-related injuries, an emergency management service agency in Texas is providing donated air conditioning units to vulnerable residents. 

"It makes a big difference, yep," Winnie Francis, 86, told CBS News congressional correspondent Kris Van Cleave. 

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