Snapshot of California Wildfires: Fire conditions in the state of California continue to worsen as more than 18,700 firefighters go to battle against 27 major wildfires across the region. The silver lining of this critical condition is that the gusty winds decreased overnight Monday, giving firefighters the opportunity to fortify the containment lines and take action to defend at-risk structures.
Three new fatalities on Monday increased the state’s total death count attributed to the fires to 29. Since the beginning of 2020, over 8,100 wildfires have destroyed more than 3.8 million acres in the state of California alone.Read More »
The Red Flag Warning that plagued Northern California the last few days expired on Monday night. However, low levels of humidity and high winds are still in the forecast for the North Bay Area. In addition, there are air quality alerts for areas of Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley in effect for Tuesday.
Entire Town Evacuated: The scope of the severity of the fires was demonstrated when the entire town of Calistoga was evacuated because of the encroaching flames. Located approximately 55 miles north of San Francisco in California’s famed winery region, Calistoga is a popular tourist destination. As of the Tuesday morning update, the fire has burned through over 42,000 acres and is 0% contained.
The fast-growing Glass Fire has forced the evacuation of about 5,000 residents of Calistoga. Police are traversing the streets to ensure that every resident has left the area. The fire started early Sunday in Napa County and quickly spread to neighboring Sonoma County, already destroying over 100 structures in its path. Included in the list of destructions are wineries, hotels, and restaurants. In addition, at least 21 people have been sent to the hospital due to burns or respiratory issues brought on by the heavy smoke.
As of Tuesday, over 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in both Sonoma and Napa counties. While there are three shelters available to evacuees, the facility at the Sonoma Marin Fairground reached capacity early in the day Monday.
Zogg Fire Claims Three Lives: Although the death count in California had been holding steady for a few weeks, Monday’s devastating fires are responsible for the fatalities of three additional individuals. Located southwest of Redding in inland Northern California, the Zogg Fire has burned more than 40,000 acres and is 0% contained. At least 146 structures have been destroyed as a result of this blaze.
August Complex Fire Explodes in Growth: The largest fire in California state history exploded in growth on Monday, growing by 60,000 acres. The August Complex Fire has now consumed over 938,000 acres and is 43% contained. Burning throughout Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Tehama, and Trinity counties in the Mendocino National Forest, it is possible that the August Complex Fire may merge with the nearby Zogg Fire to create a true monster of a blaze. Because of the rapid explosion in growth, there were new evacuation orders put in place for the areas of Mad River, Lower Mad River Road, Zenia, and Kettenpom.
Newsom Requests Additional Federal Aid: In addition to declaring a state of emergency on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom also asked for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. This assistance would be used to help with both the active response and the recovery efforts for the hardest-hit counties of Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Siskiyou.
During his Monday news conference, Newsom also said that the state is planning to enact significant changes to help to prevent future fires. While there are no concrete details of this plan yet, Newsom said it will include predictive fire analysis and new equipment.
Newsom also noted that he is expecting a new partnership between California authorities and the federal government with the goal of delivering more funding to the nationally owned land throughout the state.