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Fox News Weather Center

Western US: Diminishing heat to aid in firefighting efforts this week

As several large fires continue to rage across the western United States, weather conditions will gradually improve for firefighting efforts in the upcoming week.

Above-average temperatures, low humidity and localized gusty winds have contributed to the struggle to contain some of the larger fires across the West this past week.

A firefighter battles the wildfire near Placenta Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, Calif., Sunday, July 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

One of the most notable fires blazing is the Soberanes Fire in California.

The Soberanes Fire, currently raging over 100 miles south of San Francisco, has burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes since it began on July 22, according to CAL FIRE. One person has died as a result of the fire.

Farther south, the Sand Fire destroyed the home of a heroic firefighter who was battling another nearby blaze.

Several other large fires are also burning across the Four Corners region and the Northwest, according to the National Interagency Fire Center

While the wildfire threat will remain high into Sunday, especially across the Northwest, a change in the weather pattern is expected early next week.

The large area of high pressure which has contributed to the high heat and low humidity will begin to break down in the new week, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Michael LeSeney.

The result will be "rising humidity levels and slightly cooler temperatures" across the region, LeSeney said.

Highs that were 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit above average across portions of the Pacific Northwest, Southwest and California's Central Valley this past week will drop to more seasonable levels this week.

The downward trending temperatures, as well as higher humidity levels, could help firefighters gain the upper hand on some of the largest fires, LeSeney explained.

Continued clouds and moisture from the Southwest monsoon will help ease drought conditions across the interior West and replenish moisture in dry fuels.

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The good news of rain will also come with the bad news of lightning.

The threat for lightning-induced wildfires will remain high across portions of Southern California, eastern Nevada, western Arizona and western and central Utah, where thunderstorms with little-to-no rainfall are possible.

Several fires currently burning in the Great Basin were started by lightning, the National Interagency Fire Center reported.

Residents and visitors are reminded to do their part to help prevent wildfires by properly extinguishing matches, cigarettes and campfires, and promptly reporting any unattended or out-of-control fires.