California fires: more than 40,000 Californians evacuate


Authorities fear the blaze, which is only 5% contained, could find its way into the populated Lake Tahoe basin, and they have warned all Californians to be prepared to evacuate.

“Personally, I don’t think the fire is going to enter the basin proper,” Porter said of Lake Tahoe. “But I could be born wrong because of it. Time has passed and Mother Nature has taken over and started fires like Dixie in places I never thought possible.”

The Dixie Fire – the second largest fire in state history – which has been burning for over a month, has grown so large that its perimeter spans more than 500 square miles. This fire has spread to over 725,000 acres and is now 40% contained.

Two other large fires, the Walker Fire and the French Fire, continue to grow, and each blaze has its own specific needs, said Porter, who helps coordinate the massive effort to deploy resources, including firefighters, planes. and materials in each area. if applicable.

“We’re also working to make sure we reset and bring our own people home and rest so that we can support this fight. It’s a marathon,” Porter said, noting that the end of August is around the end of August. middle of the season. for large and damaging fires that are expected to burn in the deep fall.

If granted, the presidential statement would help provide housing, unemployment, counseling, and medical and legal services. Public assistance for repairs and replacement of schools, roads and utilities would also be included.

Several counties have already been declared in a state of emergency.

Flames cause the closure of 9 federal forests

Nine California National Forests were closed on Monday.

The US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region has issued an emergency forest service shutdown until at least September 6, citing “extreme fire conditions in northern California and strained firefighting resources throughout. the country”.

“These temporary closures are necessary to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters, as well as to reduce the potential for new fires,” said regional forester Jennifer Eberlien.

Closures include Tahoe National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest , Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Modoc National Forest.

The forest service said anyone violating the order could face fines of up to $ 5,000 for an individual and $ 10,000 for an organization, as well as up to six months in prison.

Additionally, Eldorado National Forest, also in California, was closed on August 17 due to the Caldor fire. The shutdown will last at least until September 30, the agency said.
The emergency shutdowns in California come as 93 large fires and active complexes burned 2,503,430 acres in 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

So far this year, more than 41,000 fires have burned 4,575,051 acres, according to NIFC data. This is over a million acres more than the nearly 3,300,000 acres burned at this time last year.

The historic drought of the West in 3 maps

Very minor relief is in the forecast as an overland flow in the northwest has helped calm the fire conditions and clear the lingering smoke, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Winds along the frontal boundary of a cold front entering the region could push large fires into new areas, but next week cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to increase containment, Guy said.

Although there is no significant rain to speak of, the Drought Monitor in the West is showing “tiny” signs of improvement, “Guy said.” A little is better than nothing or worse. So the little rain that was received made a scratch (not a bump) in the drought of the West. “

Caldor Fire burns more than 500 structures and threatens thousands more

The Caldor fire destroyed 557 structures on Monday and threatened 17,488 more, fire officials said. More than 1,600 firefighters are assigned to it.

Parts of El Dorado County are subject to evacuation orders or warnings. An evacuation warning is also in place in parts of neighboring Amador County.

“This year, what we are seeing more than ever before is a set of fuel conditions that many of our professionals who have spent their entire careers fighting fires have never seen before,” said the supervisor of the El Dorado National Forest, Jeff Marsolais, at a community briefing on Saturday night. .

“The system is as taxed as it has ever been,” he said of firefighting resources. “And our people on the ground are doing all they can.”

The Caldor fire was also cited as the reason two police officers from Galt, Calif., A small town south of Sacramento, were seriously injured in a head-on collision as they responded to the blaze for management. traffic, said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Emergency Services Bureau. noted.

Investigators do not yet know what started the fire.

Dixie’s fire spread slows down

Cows graze in front of a burning hill during the Dixie Fire in Genesee, Calif. On August 21.

The Dixie Fire, the largest active fire in the country, destroyed more than 1,200 structures and threatened 12,000 more.

Why the fall weather won't be the same this year

Evacuation warnings are in place in parts of Plumas, Butte and Lassen counties, according to Cal Fire. In Tehama County, evacuation orders were downgraded Monday to warnings and warnings in three areas were lifted.

“The fire remained active until after midnight. Smoke returned to the fire early in the morning, reducing the activity of the fire,” Cal Fire said in a Monday update on the blaze.

“Cooler weather and increased humidity have slowed the rates of spread, with isolated fires still being observed. Smoke settled over the fire early in the morning. Much calmer weather conditions are emerging. for most of this week, ”the update says.

CNN’s Dakin Andone, Michael Guy and Kay Jones contributed to this report.

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