California Fires Rage Out of Control As Lightening Strikes Hit Southern Part Of State

California Fires Rage Out of Control As Lightening Strikes Hit Southern Part Of State

8 July 2008

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USA — There are still hundreds of fires burning in California, with most of the blazes in the northern part of the state (See Videos and Maps Below). Since June 20th there have been 1,781 fires statewide and there are still 323 active fires burning. CALfire reports that 630,886 acres have burned so far and the humidity is still very low.

Firefighters have been called in from all over the United States. There are currently 18,415 personnel fighting the blazes, using 1,403 fire engines and 388 hand crews. The state is using 269 bull-dozers, 392 water tenders and 95 helicopters. Several fires including the Piute Wildland Fire east of Bakersfield and the Basin Complex Wildland Fire south of Big Sur are less than 30 percent contained.

The state is sweltering in a heat wave and temperature was expected to reach 115 degrees in northern California near the Canyon Complex Wildland Fire just north of Sacramento. That fire is 64 percent contained and has burned 18,451 acres.

Blast furnace temperatures are fueling the Big Sur fire as well. The Basin Complex Wildland Fire has jeopardized the beautiful coastal area of Big Sur. A lightening strike on June 21st sparked the fire which has burned 80,474 acres. The Sudden Oak Death disease has killed many trees which act as kindling for the fast moving fire. The fire is still smoldering around the community of Big Sur.

Further south the Gap Wildland Fire near Goleta has consumed 9,710 acres (see maps below). The fire was first reported on July 1st and the cause is still under investigation. The last time this forest burned was in 1955.

Today there were reports of lightning with very little rain in southern California. The rain is not hitting the ground. The lightening is more prominent further into the desert. Humidity is on the rise and we can expect some rain, hopefully.

The high temperature is expected to hold steady at 102 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday here in Pinon Hills. On Friday the temperature may drop down to 97 degrees. The National Weather Service reports that there is a slight chance of thunderstorms from Saturday through Monday with a high of 96 expected for that Saturday.

The further you go into the desert the hotter it is. Barstow will likely be around 111 degrees on Wednesday and 110 degrees on Thursday. On Friday the temperature is expected to drop to 105 degrees and there is a possibility of rain and thunderstorms on Saturday into Sunday. It will still be hot with the temperature in the triple digits through the weekend.

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