California Is on Fire – Literally

Shocking images are coming out of California where multiple fires are ravaging Los Angeles, leaving death and destruction in their wake. A mixture of dried brush and heavy winds created the perfect conditions for these California fires that closed down major freeways, evacuated entire cities, and caused major property damage — with no sign of slowing down.

California Fires Raging Right Now

Screenshot of a map of current wildfires as provided by CAL FIRE

Los Angeles is covered in so much fire you can’t even read the city name on the map!

The Thomas Fire: Ventura County

Image of the Thomas Fire, posted by the Santa Paula CERT Community Emergency Response Team

This fire started on December 4th, has burned over 65,000 acres, and is still spreading. 12,000 structures are threatened and hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated. About 2,000 firefighters are currently on the scene, trying to protect property and contain the spread, but dry and windy conditions and variable terrain is making containment difficult.

The Skirball Fire: Sepulveda Pass

 

LA is on fire and the wind is blowing like crazy. Sketchy times indeed. Stay safe, friends!
#Repost @barstoolsports
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😳The scene in California is straight out of a Roland Emmerich film

Posted by Joe Rogan on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Skirball Fire was reported just before 5am on December 6th, near Skirball Center and the Getty Center in the Seuplveda Pass, prompting a closure of the 405, one of the most traffic-heavy freeways in Los Angeles. By 10 am, the fire shows no sign of containment and has spread to 150 acres, destroyed at least 4 homes, and evacuated nearby neighborhoods.

The Rye Fire: Santa Clarita

Image of the Rye Fire posted by Los Angeles County Fire Department

The Rye Fire started on December 5th around 9:30 am in the City of Santa Clarita. What started out as a 5-acre fire was spurred on by strong winds and is now at 7,000 acres with only 5% containment. Evacuations are still underway for the area.

Little Mountain Fire: San Bernardino

San Bernardino County Firefighters battle the Little Mountain Fire near the Shandin Hills area of San Bernardino, Ca., Tuesday, December 5, 2017. The brush fire threatened houses and apartment around Little Mountain Drive and Blair Park. (John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

The Little Mountain fire is currently 50% contained, has burned over 100 acres, damaged properties, and hospitalized at least two people so far. While firefighters seem to have this one under control for now, they fear that strong winds overnight may cause the fire to spread beyond their containment lines. So far, firefighters have saved some 200 homes from flames that came close enough to scorch garages.

Why does California have so many fires?

2011 – 2016 saw some of the driest years on record for California, with relief coming in early 2017’s heavy rainfall. The rains revived the state’s water reserves and even caused some major flooding, and the drought was declared officially over in April. But with the rain came growing brush and vegetation that has since dried out, providing heaps of fuel for deadly wildfires all across California.

The dry conditions, excess brush, and strong Santa Ana winds (featuring gusts up to 60 mph) are the perfect storm for serious fires. All it takes is a burning cigarette butt, a firecracker, or an ember from a nearby fire to start a chain reaction.

With multiple large fires already raging across Los Angeles County, Californians worry that until the Santa Ana winds die down, the potential for more fires to start up are high.