High temperatures, dry conditions fuel wildfires

 High temperatures, dry conditions fuel wildfires

30 August 2009

published by www.cnn.com

Ca, USA — Fires in central and southern California raged Saturday as triple-digit temperatures mixed with dry conditions continued to fuel the flames, torching thousands of acres and threatening scores of homes.

Authorities confirmed three civilian injuries from a growing blaze known as the Station fire burning through the Angeles National Forest-La Canada Flintridge.

The blaze nearly quadrupled in size from 5,500 acres Friday to more than 20,000 acres, officials said. The blaze, which grew to more than 20,100 acres, was 5 percent contained early Sunday, officials said. It was upgraded to type 1 brush fire — the most severe classification.

“Today what happened is what I called a perfect storm of fuels, weather and topography coming together … essentially the fire burned at will,” Mike Dietrich of the U.S. Forest Service said Saturday.

Authorities consider the Station fire an anomaly, as it is not driven by strong winds as most California wildfires.

“The fire has been very active on all fronts,” U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Randi Jorgensen said.

The fire threatened about 10,000 homes in Los Angeles County and 900 homes were evacuated, she said.

“Basically, all the homes that back up to the National Forest in the La Canada-Flintridge are in danger from the fire,” Jorgensen said, adding that fire officials have told residents to be prepared for possible evacuation orders.

The Station fire disrupted power to 750 homes. More than 750 workers have been dispatched to control the blaze, which started Wednesday afternoon.

Jorgensen confirmed one injury involving heat exhaustion.

A wildfire also hit San Bernardino National Forest, burning 2,200 acres, fire officials said. The blaze, called the Cottonwood fire, started Thursday afternoon about 10 miles from the southern California city of Hemet, officials reported. That blaze was about 10 percent contained Friday evening. Hemet is about 85 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Firefighters fully contained another fire that torched 230 acres about 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles on Friday. The blaze, called the Palos Verdes fire, forced 1,200 people to evacuate and destroyed five homes and two other buildings.

Another fire in the Angeles National Forest had burned more than 2,100 acres. The blaze, called the Morris fire, started Tuesday. That fire was about 85 percent contained Friday evening, officials said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien