California wildfire News
The most populous US state has suffered five of its six largest wildfires in history this year as heat waves and dry-lightning sieges coincided with drier conditions that climate scientists blame on global warming. At least 31 people have died in this year`s fires and over 8,454 homes and other structures have been destroyed, Cal Fire said in a statement. California`s previous record burn area was nearly 2 million acres in 2018 when the state had its most deadly and destructive wildfire that killed at least 85 civilians and destroyed nearly 19,000 structures in and around the mountain town of Paradise.
As of Friday afternoon about 500,000 people in Oregon were on notice to be ready to flee advancing flames, and crews picked through the smoldering rubble of destroyed homes in search of fatalities. In southern Oregon, an apocalyptic scene of burned residential subdivisions and trailer parks stretched for miles along Highway 99 south of Medford through Phoenix and Talent, one of the most devastated areas.
California braced for more lightning storms that could spark dozens of new blazes after over 600 wildfires in the last week burned an area three times the size of Los Angeles. The worst of the wildfires was around the San Francisco Bay Area with roughly 240,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders or evacuation warnings. The National Weather Service on Monday morning lifted a warning for lightning and high winds in the area, giving firefighters some relief, but kept the "red flag" alert in place.
California`s lightning-sparked wildfires more than doubled in size into some of the largest in state history on Friday, forcing over 175,000 people to flee their homes. At least six people have died, 43 firefighters and civilians have been injured, and over 500 homes and other structures destroyed. One fire burned within a mile of the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus.
The so-called Hillside fire quickly devoured more than 200 acres (80 hectares) of dry scrub and destroyed or damaged at least six homes before firefighters managed to keep the flames from advancing farther, fire officials said. As of the early afternoon, crews had managed to carve containment lines around 50% of the fire`s perimeter. No injuries were reported, but evacuation orders remained in effect for nearly 500 homes, displacing about 1,300 residents.