This week, wildfires in the California area have been regular. Lots of small, medium and massive fires are being reported in different regions of the State, and the number of acres affected raises every hour. Some fires are being controlled and contained almost in 100 percent, but the number of mountains, counties, and green areas affected makes difficult to authorities to respond appropriately and quickly enough.
Kern County was hit by a fire that started around 3 p.m on Friday, burning almost 500 acres near Bear Valley Springs. It was contained about 80 percent, but still, an evacuation was needed.
Today, at one p.m. local time, authorities stated that the wildfire in Northern California’s Sierra reached more than three square miles and forced to evacuate more that 1,000 families of the area. About 2,000 structures are exposed and endangered.
In Southern California and the Southwest there have been wildfires as well, and today around 3 p.m. a small fire in the hillside burned five structures and injured three people, including two firefighters, that are being treated for smoke inhalation. The fire was considered small, but its fast movement caused considerable damage, reaching 10 acres before authorities could respond. The four blocks next to the starting point of the fire were evacuated by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
Wildfires can’t be controlled in individual zones, due to its characteristics. Some terrain is inaccessible to fire crew members. However, most fires have been contained considerably.
The response from authorities
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The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection put almost 2,000 fire crew members to respond to the blaze and isolated wildfires. The Red Cross has also being involved, setting up evacuation centers in Auburn, a County near Sacramento. Local fire departments are active 24/7 to respond since some fires considered small have been causing more damage than expected. Healthcare centers are also under alert.
The National Interagency Fire Center said yesterday that it is possible that more significant fires take place in the area, considering the level of dryness of trees and grasses in the mountains. The risk of big fires also increased in the West.
Idaho, Montana, Nevada, the Dakotas, and Wyoming are areas that are vulnerable to wildfires.
Why is California on fire?
Although investigations of the cause of the fires are being held by local authorities, the fire spread is due mostly to climate conditions and environmental issues.
This season has been dry regarding the amount of rain, and the terrain is considerably dry, which makes it vulnerable to heat. The persistent drought and inconsistent rains are affecting the environment enough to increase the risk of fires. Dry conditions are spreading in the entire region of the country, but California is the most affected state, where forecasters predict that it remains at risk for the entire season. It is possible that normal conditions will be naturally restored in September.
Source: ABC News