Raging wildfires across California force nearly 8,000 to evacuate: ‘It was terrifying’
With a heat wave continuing to bake California and the rest of the West, forest fires have forced about 8,000 people to run to safety on Sunday as flames destroyed homes and threatened thousands of structures throughout the state.
Along the central coast, firefighters fought the flames against two major opposing ends of Santa Barbara County.
Sunday’s dedicated efforts focus on protecting the mountain peaks that sustain critical communications infrastructure and electricity, including the power line that transports energy in Santa Barbara and neighboring cities.
Fire Alamo, near Highway 166 in northern Santa Barbara County, is the largest active fire in California and settled for 15% after burning more than 37 square miles to Sunday night, according to Forest Department And Fire Protection status.
At least 200 people were forced to evacuate a remote area east of Santa Maria, and about 1,000 firefighters from Los Angeles and throughout the state rushed to help control the flames, Cal fire said.
About 35 miles south of Santa Barbara County, more than 3,500 people fled the Whittier fire near Lake Cachuma, which burned just north of Goleta.
The fire burned just over 12 square miles and burned 20 structures on both sides of Highway 154, according to Los Padres National Forest officials.
The fire, which started at 2 am. On Saturday initially trapped about 80 campers at the V Ranch camp. But US Forest Service firefighters arrived in the group later that day, said Captain Dave Zaniboni, the Santa Barbara County shooting service.
On Sunday, firefighters were helped by slightly lower temperatures – near Santa Ynez saw a high of 91, as against 106 on Saturday – and favorable winds in the Pacific that stopped the fire spread to the lower direction Goleta.
The flame moved east and west along the Santa Ynez Mountains in areas with severe burn by two fires over the last decade, limiting the available fuel.
“This will serve as good cushioning,” said Jim Harris, assistant firefighter at Los Padres National Forest.
Harris said the fire control effort in Santa Barbara County requires more “big shot” firefighters with the kind of sturdy engines that can move down steep terrain where the fire is burning on the south-facing mountain slopes.
The deputy general of Santa Barbara County, B. Bruening, left, and fish guard and wildlife in the United States, Max Magleby, inspected a jeep was abandoned and burned by fire along Whittier Road 154.
A third fire in the central coast, the stone fire, provoked Sunday just before 21h. Approximately 30 miles east of Morro Bay, Cal Fire Unit in San Luis Obispo County. The fire quickly reached 340 acres and threatened numerous structures, and only 10% were contained Sunday night, authorities said.
Meanwhile, thousands of evacuees were hiding in cars and shelters over the weekend, waiting for the floor if they could return home.
Sarah Gustafson, who moved from Washington to California seven months ago, lives in the shade of the Santa Ynez Mountains on a winding road between the lake and Cachuma San Marcos, near Highway 154.
She changed tires on the side of the Santa Barbara Mountains Saturday, when she saw a column of smoke jump on the other side of the ridge. She panicked: her six beloved cats were trapped in her house.