At least 14 large wildfires are burning Thursday morning in the West, including the Pinehaven Fire in Nevada and the Mountain View Fire in California.
Gusty, dry winds ahead of a storm system that reached 50 to 60 mph helped spread the fires.
The Mountain View Fire, located in Eastern Sierra along the Nevada-California border, has burned more than 20,000 acres and it is 20% contained. It has destroyed 80 structures and the Mono County, California, sheriff's office said there has been at least one death as a result of the blaze.
The Pinehaven Fire has burned 512 acres and destroyed five homes, the Reno Fire Department reported Wednesday. Three homes were heavily damaged, while 21 homes have minor damage. The fire is 75 percent contained.
Fire danger and gusty winds move into the Plains, the Midwest and the Great Lakes Thursday, with 11 states, from Texas to New York, under red flag warnings and wind advisories.
Locally, some wind gusts could reach near 50 mph. With dry conditions and dead vegetation from an earlier freeze, any fire that starts could spread very quickly.
Meanwhile, the coldest air of the season still hangs tight to the eastern U.S. Thursday morning, with freeze and frost alerts for Georgia and the Carolinas.
Wind chills Thursday morning are in the 20s and 10s from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Boston.
Thankfully, this is a short-lived cold blast. Already much warmer air is building in the central U.S., with temperatures in the 60s and 70s expected Thursday.
This warmer air will move into the Northeast by Friday, with 60 degrees expected from Washington D.C. all the way to Boston.