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Extreme heat warnings issued for five states as record heat scorches the West

Record heat scorches southwestern U.S.
Record heat scorches southwestern U.S. 03:21

Extreme heat warnings have been issued for five states in the southwestern U.S., where triple-digit temperatures have been shattering records throughout the week. Residents are doing whatever they can to avoid the unrelenting heat. 

Temperatures reached 107 degrees in Salt Lake City, Utah, while Las Vegas, Nevada, saw 116 degree heat. Palm Springs, California, matched its all-time high of 123 degrees. The trend continued Friday with record-breaking temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona, and Sacramento, California.

More mega-heatwaves are on the way. The National Weather Service is predicting most of the country will likely experience above average temperatures over the next three months — likely making it a more dangerous summer than usual. More than 700 heat-related deaths occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In Tucson, Arizona, where temperatures reached 115 degrees, U.S. Border Patrol agents posted a video urging migrants not to risk their lives by illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meanwhile, extreme drought conditions continue to fuel western wildfires. Evacuations were ordered in California's Monterey County after a wildfire that broke out in the Los Padres National Forest grew on Friday, according to CBS San Francisco. Scientists said soil moisture in many spots is at its lowest level in more than 125 years, creating tinderbox conditions. 

Residents in California and Texas were asked to conserve energy to avoid overwhelming the power grid and prevent rolling blackouts. California Governor Gavin Newson, who signed an emergency proclamation that suspended certain permitting requirements to allow power plants to increase operations if necessary, encouraged residents to do their part.

"Raise the temperature on your thermostat to 78 degrees, close your blinds before you go to work," Newsom said. "Just use a little common sense."

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