As dozens of wildfires roar across the hot, dry western U.S., the nation's first fire fatality in months was reported in a fast-moving blaze near the California-Oregon border.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Suzi Brady said Friday the person died in the blaze that started Thursday but that she couldn’t release any other details because next of kin have not been notified.
She says the blaze, known as the Klamathon Fire, is threatening 300 homes near Hornbook, California, a town of 250 people about 14 miles south of the Oregon border.
Barbara Taylor's home of 40 years was destroyed in the Klamathon blaze. She said someone found her cat "alive, but she's singed."
"I can't believe that I left her there," Taylor said, fighting back tears.
Northern California wildfire forces evacuations
The fatality was the first in the U.S. since two people were killed in an Oklahoma wildfire in April.
More than 60 wildfires are now burning in 13 states across the U.S., most of them in the West and Alaska, the National Interagency Fire Center reported.
In parts of California, Colorado and Utah, hundreds of residents remain under evacuation orders because of the aggressive wildfires, the Weather Channel said.
Colorado's Spring Creek Fire, the state's third-largest on record, has destroyed 100 homes and forced the evacuations of 2,000 other homes. The blaze has scorched nearly 161 square miles and was 35 percent contained, according to InciWeb.
A wildfire in central Utah has destroyed an estimated 90 structures, including homes.
In 2018, wildfires have charred 4,539 square miles in the USA, which is about 700 square miles above average.
In Southern California, most of the normally temperate region is expected to broil in triple digits Friday and Saturday before getting some relief. The heat is caused by a massive dome of high pressure, which also is expected to spread oppressive conditions into parts of Arizona, Nevada and Utah, worsening wildfire conditions in those states.
Contributing: Jim Schultz, Mike Chapman, Amber Sandhu, Damon Arthur and Alayna Shulman, Redding Record Searchlight; David Davis, Salem Statesman Journal; The Associated Press