The unrelenting blazes in the Golden State continue to rage. As of mid-day Wednesday, over 2.5 million acres in the state of California have burned as firefighters race to control the flames of at least 28 major fires. Here is the latest news on the historic fires that continue to ravage much of the West Coast of the US.
Creek Fire Update: The Creek Fire is still burning out of control in the mountains of Central California. According to the latest CALFIRE report released early Wednesday morning, the fire has destroyed at least 365 structures. The blaze has now burned through over 163,000 acres and is 0% contained. In addition to mass evacuations across the region, nearly 250 people have had to be rescued from the encroaching flames. The majority of these rescues took place over the Labor Day holiday weekend from the Mammoth Pool recreational site.Read More »
Firefighters in Protection Mode: The reason why the fire is still at 0% containment is primarily that firefighters are in life-saving and protection mode. This means that the goal at this point is to protect human life and structures. In addition, an inversion layer and thick smoke in the southern part of the fire has prevented authorities from dispatching aircraft to attempt to control the blaze. The fire continues to rage on both sides of the San Joaquin River and circling around Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake.
El Dorado Fire Update: Down in Southern California, the El Dorado Fire continues to wreak havoc and cause evacuations. Located in the San Bernardino National Forest, this blaze continues to grow at an alarming rate. A new evacuation warning was issued for residents in Yucaipa during the overnight hours on Tuesday. So far, 21,000 residents have been evacuated from the area as the fire continues to spread and threaten homes and other structures. The new official evacuation site is the cafeteria at the Redlands East Valley High School.
As of Wednesday morning, the El Dorado Fire had burned through more than 11,000 acres. The fire is now listed at 20% containment. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that nearly 1,000 firefighters have been dispatched to battle the fire.
Dolan Fire Update: The Dolan Fire is still burning near the Central Coast destination of Big Sur. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Dolan Fire has burned over 93,000 acres as of late Tuesday. The fire is now approximately 20% contained.
Three firefighters were hospitalized on Tuesday after they were attempting to protect the Nacimiento Fire Station from the flames. According to the US Forest Service, all three are now in stable condition at a Fresno hospital. At least 14 of the firefighters were forced to use shelter deployment because the flames had become too strong while trying to preserve their station.
Other Major California Fires: San Diego County is battling its own major fire as the Valley Fire has now scorched nearly 18,000 acres with only 11% containment. This fire has been the culprit for at least two injures and 37 destroyed structures.
Located in the Angeles National Forest, the Bobcat Fire has burned over 11,000 acres and is not at all contained. As a result of the growing flames, many of the foothill communities of Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia, Duarte, and Altadena are under evacuation warnings.
While it first ignited back on August 17, the North Complex Fire is still burning strong. Located in Northern California’s Plumas National Forest, this blaze has already moved through over 150,000 acres. The fire is now 38% contained. On Wednesday, the blaze led to an evacuation warning for the city of Oroville with a population of almost 20,000.
Dangerous Air Quality: As a result of the fire, air quality levels are at extremely dangerous levels in many parts of the region. The Air Quality Index for North Fork was a hazardous 492 on Wednesday morning. Oakhurst reported a level of 449 with Yosemite Turtleback Dome checking in at 444. For reference, a reading of more than 201 is considered to be very unhealthy while anything beyond 301 or higher is considered hazardous.
West Coast on Fire: In addition to blazes burning in California, the states of Oregon and Washington are also seeing historic fires and mass evacuations. Approximately 40 large fires are now burning massive amounts of acreage in the three contiguous West Coast states. Hot and dry weather throughout the region has put millions of people under a red flag warning.