CASTEC, Calif. (AP) — California wildfires flared up in rural areas Wednesday, raging through dry brush and forcing evacuations as the state sweltered in a heat wave that could last into Labor Day.
The path of the fire in Castaic, in northwest Los Angeles County, covered about 4,625 acres (1,872 hectares) of hills scattered across homes. Interstate 5, the main north-south road, burned hundreds of acres of fire in just a few hours.
Smoke rose thousands of feet as the plane dumped water from nearby Kastaik Lake, media reports said. Authorities said a 94-home mobile home park had been evacuated and seven firefighters were being treated for heat-related problems.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted that the fire was irregular and required additional resources, including an air tanker. An elementary school was also evacuated. Forecasters said temperatures in the area reached 107 degrees (42 degrees Celsius) and wind gusts reached 17 miles per hour (27 kilometers per hour).
Another fire destroyed at least four buildings, including a home, and prompted evacuations in the Durzuela area in eastern San Diego County, near the Mexican border. It quickly grew to more than 1,400 acres (567 hectares) and prompted the evacuation of at least 400 homes, authorities said.
Injuries were not immediately reported, but there were “multiple emergencies” with residents running for their lives, said Capt. Thomas Seitz of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“We received several 911 calls from people who couldn’t evacuate because their homes were surrounded by fire,” Shuts told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The National Weather Service said many valleys, foothills, mountains and deserts in the state remain at high fire risk due to low humidity and high temperatures, setting several records in a day. The hottest days are expected to be Sunday and Monday.
Wildfires have flared up across the western states this summer. One of the largest and deadliest wildfires of the year in California broke out in late July in Siskew County near the Oregon border. He killed four people and destroyed most of the small community in the Klamath River.
Scientists say climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. In the Western United States, a 22-year mega-drought in 2021 has intensified so much that the region is now experiencing its driest period in at least 1,200 years.
Post time: Sep-01-2022