By MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Thousands of people are being forced to evacuate as more than three dozen wildfires are burning in the western part of the United States, from New Mexico to Alaska.
The hardest-hit areas are in Arizona, where the Bighorn Fire near Tucson grew to 31,208 acres and is 40% contained. That fire has forced at least 150 homes in the area to evacuate.
The Bush Fire, which is near Phoenix, is 114,941 acres and is only 5% contained.
In northern Arizona, the Mangum Fire has forced evacuations. It is 54,845 acres and is 3% contained.
Evacuations have been lifted near Durango, Colorado, where the East Canyon Fire is 2,764 acres and is 0% contained.
The Walker Fire near Sacramento, California, is 1,455 acres and is 70% contained.
The good news Friday, is the winds will slightly relax in the region. It will still be breezy in spots, however, with wind gusts 20 to 30 mph.
However, as winds relax and the high pressure moves over the Southwest, temperatures will be on the rise late in the weekend and into the next week.
Temperatures are forecast to rise into the 110s in some areas. Fighting these fires will be difficult in such hot conditions.
Meanwhile, in the east, a stormy and wet pattern to continue with a frontal system will move through the central U.S. with severe storms to the south and heavy rain to the north.
Severe thunderstorms are expected in western Texas and Oklahoma Friday, with the biggest threat being damaging winds and large hail.
This frontal storm system will linger in the central U.S. through the weekend with more severe weather possible from Texas to Illinois on Saturday and Sunday.
At the same time, on the East Coast, a lingering upper-level storm system will continue to bring scattered afternoon storms with localized heavy rain from the Carolinas to New York state.
In east-central Florida, heavy rain and flooding are expected this weekend where a flood watch has been issued.
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