Thank you so much , everyone, for your prayers. Temperatures have been slightly cooler lately (cooler than the weathermen predicted), but still up in the 90s. Yesterday we had good gullywasher of a thunderstorm come throught. The rain helps, but the storms also create erratic winds and lighting strikes which can exacerbate fire conditions.
The western US has been exceptionally dry these past two years due to a strong La Nina event. Somewhat counterintuitively, cool sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean cause ridges of high pressure to build in the continental interior of North America. This pushes the jet stream, and consequently the storm track, far to the north, and also keeps the cold polar air bottled up in a tight vortex around the arctic, leading to persistent hot, dry conditions further south. Winters in Colorado have been pretty weak lately, meanwhile places like Montana and Alaska have seen record amounts of snow.
An El Nino event in the Pacific tends to have the opposite effect. When last I checked, a mild El Nino was beginning to develop, which is hopeful. A new twist on the theme of "Christ child, save us!"