Two firefighters are currently in the hospital after battling the wildfire alongside Los Angeles Highway as California continues to burn.
Wildfires have become a topic of immense concern for us Outsiders and the world at large. Our Western brothers and sisters cannot seem to catch a break from the horrific flames.
Sunday, a large wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County continues to rage. As night closes in, firefighters have made progress in containing the flames, but not before they managed to jump roadways and spread over half of a square mile.
The cause of the wildfire is currently under investigation. The Associated Press reports Sunday that 10-15mph winds would allow the blaze to “chew” through dry brush and tinder ripe for burning. Flames continue to lick the busy California highway as dramatic footage shows:
As a result, California Highway Patrol would close down a large stretch of the interstate for hours. During the timespan, air tankers dropped retardant from the sky to quell the flames. The familiar bright orange substance goes a long way in helping to contain fires, but causes enormous plumes of thick smoke. CHP reports that the smoke is a primary factor in closing down the busy roadway as it reduces drivers’ visibility to nearly zero.
Heroic firefighters continue to battle the blaze. So far, two have been taken to the hospital for burn injuries, cites Andrew Mitchell, spokesperson for Angeles National Forest via Associated Press.
Wildfires Continue to Ravage California
Mitchell says the fire is still not under containment due to the area’s mountainous terrain. Firefighters are, however, making progress into the night with air support and “aggressive ground attack.”
He adds that crews will hopefully be able to take advantage of Sunday’s “cooling trend” in order to construct containment lines for the wildfire.
Elsewhere in the state, Mendocino County authorities are evacuating areas of Calpella. It’s a small community on the Russian River, 6 miles north of Ukiah. Currently, that fire is pushing towards Lake Mendocino, which will endanger other communities, as well.
Thankfully, the enormous, wildly destructive Caldor Fire is coming to a close further north. Later into Sunday, all Lake Tahoe residents will be able to return home and inspect damage. Evacuation orders are also being lifted for homes along State Route 50 now that Caldor is 65% contained.
Some communities, however, have nothing left to return to. Grizzly Flats was completely destroyed by Caldor. AP lists homes, the town’s school, post office, church, and fire station as all completely gone.
Thankfully, some rain has now fallen onto portions of the even more devastating Dixie Fire. The second-largest wildfire in California history, Dixie has taken 1,500 square miles of land and has been burning since mid-July. Over 1,300 homes and buildings have been lost to its all-consuming blaze.
Please stay safe out there, California Outsiders.