A RECORD-breaking heatwave has been making life even more difficult for firefighters battling huge blazes in nine western US states.
There were fears yesterday that two wildfires east of Los Angeles could join and form a huge inferno. Water-dropping helicopters and more than 600 firefighters were tackling the blazes, which had forced the evacuation of about 850 families from the area.
Temperatures of up to 50 degrees have been reached during the heatwave.
In Arizona, four people died on Sunday - three of them in their teens or 20s - from heat exposure.
The National Interagency Fire Centre has warned that several new fires have broken out in California and Colorado and it expects temperatures to remain high in many fire-affected regions, including around Los Angeles.
With the drought in California having stretched to five years, the US Forest Service has warned there may be worse to come.