Danger of Wildfires Increases in the West

Record-breaking sizzling temperatures have turned seven states into a tinderbox for wildfires.
1:20 | 07/24/14

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Transcript for Danger of Wildfires Increases in the West
it's fueling wildfires, turning the dry Earth into a tinderbox. Tonight, a new report reveals just how many family homes could be at risk as the danger of fire increases. Here's ABC's Brandi Hitt. Reporter: A scorching heat wave is baking the west. It is almost unbearable! It's like a sauna. Literally a sauna. Reporter: Phoenix breaking records today with temperatures topping 116 degrees. And parts of southern California sizzling to 119. The extreme heat striking as firefighters battle 33 large wildfires in seven states. Four in Washington alone where we met fire crews on the front lines. Sizzling temperatures combined with severe drought and a firefight that's breaking budgets. A new report shows the cost of fighting fires has quadrupled, jumping from 440 million in 1985 to more than $1.7 billion last year. And 60% of all new homes built since 1990 are in high fire-risk areas with 1.2 million homes in the danger zone. These fires are going to consume us much more rapidly, much more frequently and with greater intensity. And we are going to have to build our infrastructure to respond to them. Reporter: And peak fire season is just beginning. Brandi Hitt, ABC news, los Angeles.

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