Several areas on the west coast of the USA are currently affected by wildfires.
At least 14,000 firefighters are currently battling 18 wildfires across the state of California, with more breaking out in the dry, hot and windy conditions.
Wildfires often spread rapidly, due to strong winds and extremely dry conditions. Forests, hills and canyons are all highly susceptible areas, and are then more likely to be at risk of mudslides if heavy rain follows.
The Mendocino Complex fire, the largest Californian wildfire on record, is expected to continue burning for the rest of the month. It has already covered an area almost the size of Los Angeles.
Yosemite Valley has been closed due to the Ferguson wildfire (located near Yosemite National Park). The National Park Service is asking that visitors leave due to the danger from the fire, which includes poor air quality and bad visibility.
If you would like more information on the Ferguson wildfire, visit the National Park Service website.
If you are in an area affected by wildfires, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recommends that you stay aware of what is going on and keep up with any updates from the local authorities or law enforcement officers. The Cal Fire and Oregon Wildfires & Forest Fires websites also have more information, so keep checking them too.
You should also follow reports in the local media and obey instructions from the authorities. This is especially important if you are asked to evacuate an area.
Who to contact
If you’re in California and have been affected by the wildfires you can call the British Consulate in San Francisco on +1 415 617 1300.
Anyone in the UK who is concerned about a British national they know of in the Yosemite area can find out more by calling the FCO on 020 7008 1500.
If you’re planning a future trip to the USA and want more information, take a look at our guide to travel insurance for the USA.