(KERO) — A record heatwave in the Pacific Northwest is serving as a sign for California firefighters of what's to come this fire season. So one Stanford climate expert says climate change is contributing to these consistent heat waves.
The scientist who has been studying the state's climate for years believes California now has a new climate.
"Essentially, we are getting very severe heat waves leading to rapid snowmelt and that means that the water supply that we have counted on in the past is much less reliable and vegetation is dryer."
Scientists see these dry conditions as signs of what's to come. To gear up for upcoming wildfires CAL FIRE has added 1,400 additional firefighters and more fire engines.
Nearly 70 million Americans are under heat alerts with Portland, Oregon hotter than Phoenix or Las Vegas!
Portland hit 115 degrees on Monday shattering the city's all-time heat record for the third consecutive day. That 115-degree temperature is 42 degrees hotter than the average June day for Portland. In Seattle, the mercury hit 106 on Monday breaking that city's all-time heat record set just the day before.
The dangerous heat is hitting a region accustomed to mild weather where many people don't have air conditioning. Currently, several hotels in the Seattle area are posting "no vacancy" signs as people book rooms to stay cool.
"I've lived all over from Southern Virginia to Mississippi to Los Angeles and I've never had to do this in my life," said one resident.
To the Southern West Coast hot and dry weather conditions have been fueling wildfires.