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Record-setting heat takes hold across US

Colorado Weather
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 16:46:23-04

Record-setting heat is taking hold across the United States.

If you don't have to go outside, don't. That's the warning from one doctor in Las Vegas.

"Stay in the shade. Drink plenty of fluids. Try to stay in areas where there's some air conditioning or at least good air movement." said Dr. Jeffery Davidson, Valley Health System - Las Vegas

With this kind of heat, there's a lot of concern for your safety, but that's not all. The extreme heat means you're looking at a higher risk for wildfires. 

Crews in California battled a brush fire there, north of Los Angeles. Fires burned more than 6,500 square miles of land last year. Officials say another fire, called the Flats Fire in Southern California, has burned 400 acres and is just 60% contained. 

And in Utah, crews are making progress fighting several fires across the state. Officials say the Bear Fire has burned more than 10,000 acres about 100 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. It's less than 20% contained. 

Meanwhile, with high temperatures comes higher use of air conditioners. And Texans are being asked to use less electricity by the state's main power grid.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as ERCOT, said it is experiencing a significant number of power plant outages. It said combined with high use of electricity because of the heat, it will put even more strain on the power grid.

ERCOT said the outages are unexpected and did not explain what caused them. It is asking Texans to conserve power through Friday.

Earlier this year, ERCOT faced a lot of criticism for its handling of a winter storm that left millions without power for days in freezing temperatures.

This story was originally published by Alex Livingston and Simon Kaufman at Newsy.