Fires Continue to Burn Across California and May Only Get Worse
California firefighters continue to fight record-breaking fires across the state.
The previous record, set in 2018, left 1.96 million acres burned. This year, the number of acres burned is already at two million and will only continue to grow, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Spokesperson, Lynne Tolmachoff, told the Associated Press that September and October are historically the worst months for wildfires because the winds kick up and the heat dries vegetation out. Two mammoth Bay Area fires burned for three weeks, they were two of the three largest fires in the state’s history.
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With temperatures reaching 100° in San Francisco, smoke from nearby wildfires still impacting our air quality, and the pandemic going on, this Labor Day weekend definitely hasn’t been the most pleasant! ☀️🔥😷 The smoke here ebbs and flows as the wind direction changes, but at one point this afternoon the AQI (Air Quality Index) approached 250, which is classified as ‘very unhealthy’ – the next and final classification is ‘hazardous.’ I went up to the Marin Headlands when it was still pretty smoky and snapped this photo looking across the Golden Gate Bridge looking toward downtown. 📸 Stay safe and cool! 😷❄️ ______________
Lightning strikes have caused more than two dozen fires in the past three weeks, said Tolmachoff. The U.S. Forest Service closed eight national forests in California on Labor Day in response to the growing number of fires in the state.
Pacific Gas & Electric warned customers that it might be cutting power to homes in Northern and Central California. Fires have already caused significant damage to homes as well as caused widespread power damages.
Amid Extreme Heat, Forecasted Offshore Dry Wind Event Means PG&E Might Need to Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety in Portions of 21 Counties – PG&E is Notifying Customers Who Might Be Affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff https://t.co/4ueGKuOkwQ pic.twitter.com/1WnaWEIQPi
— PG&E (@PGE4Me) September 7, 2020
Most recently, the wildfires made headlines when a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used for a baby gender reveal party caused a fire 11.5 square miles big in Yucaipa, a city east of Los Angeles. This is reminiscent of the 2017 incident in Arizona where a 47,000 acres (73 square miles) fire was started by a gender reveal of a target filled with explosive powder.
Since August 15, there have been 900 wildfires, with 3,300 structures destroyed and eight deaths. “The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously.” Randy Moore, regional forester for the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, said. “Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire.”
We hope everyone in California stays safe and we thank firefighters for their hard work.