A wildfire that has burned its way through parts of Los Angeles County, Calif., is threatening more than 1,000 homes as crews continue to battle dozens of major fires in the west. High winds pushed the wildfire, which had burned in the San Gabriel Mountains north of the city of La Jolla, into the desert floor and spread, causing it to explode and destroy homes, authorities said Saturday.
In all, 19 homes and businesses were destroyed and 88 others damaged, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. It was the 26th wildfire death in the past two weeks and the second in California.
Firefighters are battling 367 known wildfires in California, including 23 that Newsom says are considered major. The SCU Lightning Complex fire in the San Bernardino National Forest and Sierra Nevada Mountains north of Los Angeles is the third largest fire to burn in the state on nearly 400,000 acres since records began. The Bobcat fire is the second-largest wildfire in the state's history, having burned more than 1,500 square miles of land since September 2020, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. More than 60,000 California residents were evacuated Tuesday because of the fire, which has burned an area of 780 square miles across the state.
Santa Ana winds are fueling wildfires in Southern California, including in Los Angeles and Ventura County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
It is the biggest fire of the season and thousands of buildings have been evacuated since October 30. The Valley fire has damaged 11 buildings in San Diego and has so far covered 10,258 acres, Cal Fire said. The Hill Fire has been contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, but it is a dangerous blaze that has destroyed more than 1,000 acres of land in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Fire Department reported 17 buildings destroyed or damaged and reported a total of 3,500 acres of fire damage in the area, as well as a number of evacuations.
Firefighters have brought several other wildfires in the area under control, including the Hill Fire, Valley Fire and Fan Fire in San Diego County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Dozens of buildings were destroyed or damaged and thousands of hectares burned. Dozens of buildings in Los Angeles County and several Southern California cities have been damaged or destroyed, according to official reports. Firefighters are making progress in containing many fires so they can be contained by the end of this week and early next week and into the coming weeks, the LA Times reports, and firefighters are getting the fan under control.
With more than 9.2 million acres of burned and smothered smoke across much of the West, the California fires are the latest in a tragedy unfolding in what is already the worst wildfire season in the state's history - and the third worst in California history. After Southern California began this week with six major fires in dry bushland, 2017 could go into the record books as the deadliest fire year in the state's history, according to the US Forest Service.
This week's fires have burned more than 158,000 acres of land and are approaching densely populated areas of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties where dangerous air pollution is rife. A number of large wildfires have also broken out in the state's north, including in San Bernardino County and the San Joaquin Valley in Northern California. In what is considered the deadliest wildfire in the state's history, nearly 1,500 homes and businesses were destroyed in Santa Rosa, in the San Luis Obispo district. The fast-growing Thomas Fire in Ventura County is threatening Santa Barbara as thousands of firefighters battle several infernos burning in Southern California, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
A smoke-producing pyrotechnic device used in a September 5 photo is believed to have started the fire in El Dorado near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. At least three people were killed in the fire, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.
The first flames were reported in El Dorado at about 1: 30 p.m. local time on September 5, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fire investigators found a small butane canister opposite the building, said Lt. Col. John D'Agostino, a spokesman for the El Dorado Fire Department. One of the firefighters in the building thought it was "not right" for smoke and heat to rise from a back building, he said.
Driven by strong winds, the "tick fire" ignited in the parking lot of a home in El Dorado about 2: 30 p.m. on Sunday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.