Los Angeles (AP) — Wildfires that burned some homes near Los Angeles may indicate that the area faces the same dangers that burned Northern California.
A fire in San Bernardino County broke out on Wednesday afternoon, burning hundreds of acres rapidly, damaging or destroying at least 12 homes and annexes in the hills northeast of LA, according to fire officials. The crew used shovels and bulldozers to launch aerial attacks to prevent the South Fire from Lytle Creek near the Cajon Pass and a small Scottish community.
About 600 homes and other buildings were threatened with power lines, and 1,000 residents were ordered to evacuate.
By nightfall, firefighters seemed to have the upper hand and few flames were seen. However, the flames were worrisome, as the high-fire season in Southern California is usually the second half of the year when strong, dry Santa Ana winds blow out from the interior and flow toward the coast.
After a few cool days, the southern region was expected to return hot weather for the weekend. In addition to being dangerously dry, San Bernardino National Forest spokeswoman Lynn Cieliet said the area is facing increasingly thin firefighters.
“Some of the firefighters we usually have in our forests are working on fires in Northern California, or in Idaho and Washington,” she told KTLA-TV. “We don’t have the usual full staff.”
The largest fires in the state and across the country broke out in Northern California, where small mountain towns were burned down and vast strips of dry forest at the crater were destroyed.
The Caldor fire has destroyed about 500 homes since August 14, including many of the small Grizzly Flats settlements in the Sierra Nevada Mountains southwest of Lake Tahoe. It was 12% contained and threatened more than 17,000 structures.
Backminitch, a Pioneer Firefighter, was called to the fire department last week when his wife fled to Grizzly Flats’ house with her two daughters, three dogs, a kitten and duffel bag clothes. ..The Mercury News report.
Hannah Minitch evacuated to her parents’ house, and the next morning, her husband sent her a text showing only the chimney where she once lived. Before he got back to work, the two easily cried together on the phone.
“‘There is nothing left here,'” she recalled what he said. “‘You have to protect what is left behind by others.'”
Occasionally, wind fires burned 1,000 acres of land per hour, and on Wednesday it was less than 20 miles from Lake Tahoe, an alpine vacation and tourist attraction that straddles the California-Nevada border.
There was no evacuation in Tahoe, but the fire continued to throw sickly yellow smoke into the scenic areas.
South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City on the west coast caused the worst air pollution in the country on Wednesday morning, according to AirNow, a federal, state and local aviation partnership.
Meanwhile, California’s second-largest 1,160-square-mile (3,004-square-kilometer) Dixie Fire burned only about 65 miles (104 kilometers) north. It was included 45%. There were about 700 houses in the destroyed about 1,300 buildings.
Concerns have been raised in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains as a French fire spread near Lake Isabella, a popular fishing and boating destination. About 10 communities were ordered to evacuate. The fire has been blackened by 32 square miles (83 square kilometers) since August 18.
Smoke from the fire polluted the air further south. The South Coast Air Quality Control District has issued recommendations to most of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino County until Thursday morning.
Nationally, 92 large-scale fires were burning mainly in 13 western states, according to the National Inter-Ministry Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
According to scientists, climate change will continue to make the west warmer, drier, more extreme weather and more destructive wildfires over the last three decades.