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One ember from a campfire or firework can travel and ignite a fire a mile away, potentially devastating homes and communities nearby. (Photo: ALM Archives)

As the current heat dome shatters record temperatures in many western states, drought conditions are becoming worse, increasing the risk of wildfires in many areas.

Multiple western states are now experiencing exceptional drought conditions, the highest level of drought designated by the National Drought Mitigation Center, and residents across the country — particularly in wildfire-prone states — are urged to be extra cautious with the use of fireworks this Fourth of July.

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