Associated Press Wire

Jul 1, 3:10 PM EDT

Wildfire threat remains high California, Southwest in July

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Wildfire threat remains high California, Southwest in July

Forecasters say the threat of wildfires will remain high in Southern California and the Southwest this month because of persistent drought and because summer rains may not be as consistent as usual.

The National Interagency Fire Center said Friday that parts of intermountain West also face above-normal chances of significant fires in July because grasses and small trees are dry.

That area includes northern California and parts of Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.

The center says dry conditions in the Dakotas will increase the chances for big fires there as well.

The center's monthly forecast says the risk of wildfires could remain high across the West in August.

The risk level will likely return to normal in most areas in September, but forecasters say California could remain at risk into the autumn because of drought.

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