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Wildfires, Scorching Heat Strike US Early as Potential Flooding Threatens Midwest

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The race is on to stop multiple wildfires in California, while extreme heat and cold are expected for parts of the country and possible flooding rains this week. 

In Sacramento County, Metro Fire Battalion Chief Parker Wilbourn said they were using, "Bulldozers, hand crews, fire engines and again our fixed wing and rotary winged aircraft, all fighting this blaze."

One fire north of Los Angeles has burned more than 14,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,200 people.

Craig Little with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said, "The winds are going to be the biggest factor in battling this blaze. It's going to make the effort much more difficult."

Those powerful winds are near hurricane strength, up to 70 miles per hour. 

In one case, dozens of cars at an auto repair shop just off the I-5 freeway were torched. Firefighters were able to stop the progress of another fire near Lancaster but still another fire destroyed a number of buildings in Sonoma County.

This could be an especially dangerous fire season thanks to a rainy winter that caused the growth of vegetation that is now fuel – fuel that's helped kick off the California fire season early.

One Bay Area resident said, "We're surprised with the heat and the fire happening so early in the summer."

Meanwhile, heat typically only seen in July and August is bearing down on the Midwest and Northeast. 

Pittsburgh could hit 99 degrees on Wednesday.

Meteorologist William Churchill at the National Weather Service said the heat, "...Is going to be the worst from Monday to Thursday, but even continuing into the weekend some of these warm temperatures."

Weather officials warn residents to take precautions not only for heat but for the chance of torrential rain, from the Gulf to the Plains and Midwest.
"So, it could end up being some significant and even potentially widespread flash flooding in some of those areas, as well as river flooding," Churchill added. 

There's even the chance for snow in the Rockies and Northwest.

More than 260 million Americans will experience temperatures above 90 this week and parts of the Northeast will see the mid to upper-90s and lurking around the heat dome, those possible flooding rains. 

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Since joining CBN News, Dale has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America. Dale also covered China's opening to capitalism in the early 1990s, as well as the Yugoslav Civil War. CBN News awarded him its Command Performance Award for his reporting from Moscow and Sarajevo. Since 9/11, Dale has reported extensively on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe. Follow Dale on Twitter @dalehurd and "like" him at