Devastating California wildfires are spreading south
Several homes have been destroyed overnight in Los Angeles and more than 50,000 Californians have been forced to flee their homes as wildfires continue to burn out of control in the northern part of the state. California wildfires.
Authorities now fear the fires will spread across the south and through the Lake Tahoe Basin, warning all Californians to be ready to evacuate after the northern part of the state has faced devastation over the last three weeks.
The fire quickly spread through San Bernardino County on Wednesday decimating several hundred acres of farmland and forest, taking out over 14 properties and farm buildings in its wake in the northeast.
Fire crews attacked the blaze both by air and land, using bulldozers and water pumps to try and curb the spread of the fire through the Cajon pass, with over 1,000 residents being told to evacuate.
Lyn Sieliet, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino National Forest said that “some of our firefighters that we normally have on our forests are working on fires in Northern California, or Idaho and Washington”. “We don’t have the full staff that we normally do”.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that one of the local firefighters, Buck Minitch, was called to the fire lines last week in the midst whilst his wife and two daughters fled their homes in Grizzly Flats, taking their three dogs, kitten and an emergency duffel bag of clothes with them.
By mid afternoon on Wednesday, the fire, driven by the wind, was burning as much of 1,000 acres of land an hour, with Tahoe suffering severe air pollution.
The Caldor Fire in northern California, southwest of Lake Tahoe has destroyed over 500 properties since mid August whilst the second-largest in state history, known as the Dixie Fire has destroyed over 700 properties, scotching 1,160 square miles to the north.
Throughout the USA, the National Interagency Fire Center (“NIFC”) reported that 92 fires were burning in 12 Western states, with the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region closing 9 federal forests until at least 6th September, citing “extreme fire conditions throughout northern California, and strained firefighting resources throughout the country”.
The regional forestation chief, Jennifer Eberlien said that “these temporary closures are necessary to ensure public and firefighter safety, as well as reduce the potential for new fire starts”.
More than 41,000 fires decimated over 4,575,051 acres so far this year, according to the NIFC. With the wildfire season starting earlier this year, 2021 is on track to be one of the most damaging since records began.