27 large wildfires are burning across the West. Here's the latest update

More than 8,400 firefighters across the West battled dozens of wildfires Thursday that forced thousands of local residents to pack up families, pets and personal treasures to flee the advancing blazes.

Twenty-seven large fires were burning nearly 180,000 acres, the National Interagency Fire Center reported, as the region continued to pay a steep price for a recent, record-smashing heat wave that combined with low humidity and wind to create a perfect storm for wildfires.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson warned that hot and dry weather through the weekend will only exacerbate wildfire danger.

"The only relief Mother Nature will offer will be at night when winds diminish and the relative humidity rises slightly," he said.

More than 4,200 square miles have burned so far this year, almost the size of Connecticut. The number represents an alarming 30% more than 2016's total year-to-date, and 2016 was an above-average year.


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