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Crews are battling ‘fire whirls’ in California’s Mojave Desert

Flames rise from the York Fire on Ivanpah Rd. on Sunday, July 30, 2023, in the Mojave National Preserve, Calif. The York Fire has burned over 77,000 acres and has 0% containment. (AP Photo/Ty ONeil)

MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE, Calif. (AP) — Crews battled “fire whirls” in California’s Mojave National Preserve this weekend as a massive wildfire crossed into Nevada amid dangerously high temperatures and raging winds. The York Fire has been mapped at roughly 120 square miles on Monday with no containment. The blaze erupted Friday near the remote Caruthers Canyon area of the vast wildland preserve, crossed the state line into Nevada on Sunday and sent smoke further east into the Las Vegas Valley. Wind-driven flames 20 feet high in some spots charred tens of thousands of acres of desert scrub, juniper and Joshua tree woodland. The fire’s cause is under investigation.