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Evacuations ordered as new California wildfire ignites in scorching heat wave

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one week ago  •  1 comments

By:   Patrick Smith

Evacuations ordered as new California wildfire ignites in scorching heat wave
Scorching temperatures on the Fourth of July fueled wildfires in California that have burned through the night.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Scorching temperatures on the Fourth of July fueled wildfires in California, as warnings from meteorologists that the coming days could see dangerously hot weather.

With much of the country in the grip of a heat wave that is set to break records and make conditions dangerously hot, a large blaze near Yosemite National Park has triggered evacuations and forced hospital patients to shelter in place.

The French Fire, in Mariposa County, California, began Thursday. It was 20% contained by Friday night, having burned through 908 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Some residents of Mariposa were allowed to return home by Friday evening, but an evacuation warning and mandatory evacuation order remained in place for other areas.

Footage taken in the area and posted to social media showed the sky illuminated bright orange by huge flames, amid enormous clouds of smoke. Another video showed a plane dropping fire retardant over a forested area near Mariposa on Thursday.

About 3,400 energy customers were without power Friday evening in Mariposa County, according to the PowerOutage.us website.

In the Santa Ynez Valley, about 60 miles northeast of Santa Barbara, the "rapidly developing" Lake Fire was reported near Zaca Lake in Los Padres National Forest shortly after 4 p.m., federal fire officials said.

Despite an aggressive attack by firefighters, the blaze has grown to 500 acres, with no containment reported, according to the officials.

In Northern California, the much larger Thompson Fire continues to in Butte County, where it has burned through almost 3,800 acres and is 55% contained as of Friday night.

The fire broke out Tuesday in Oroville, 65 miles north of Sacramento, and forced thousands of people to evacuate, although the "vast majority" of the 17,000 people under evacuation orders or warnings were able to go home Thursday, said Kristi Olio, public information officer for Butte County.

Lynette Bailey told NBC News on Thursday that she had to scramble to get her 90-year-old father to a nearby shelter.

"It was panic, because my dad didn't want to leave and I told him, 'You gotta get in the car right now.'"

240702-thompson-fire-1-se-1153a-e3a356.jpg The Thompson Fire burns above Lake Oroville on Tuesday.Noah Berger / AP

But because there are no shelter places left for her dog, Bailey spent the last two days outside in the heat. "It's really sad. I'm out here in this 108 degrees ... I'm more worried about my dad," she said.

Many Fourth of July celebrations were canceled across California on Thursday as temperatures soared past the 100-degree mark, while places reached 110.

Cal Fire and Butte County Fire Department said Thursday that a 61-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon and accused of starting a backfire, a small controlled blaze designed to help contain a larger one, which was extinguished by firefighters.

"An individual was observed setting a backfire on a property located off Oro Quincy Highway," the authorities said in a statement. The man admitted setting the fire with a propane torch and was jailed on a felony charge of unlawfully causing a fire to wildland.

Oroville was hit by the Camp Fire in 2018, which killed 85 people and displaced around 50,000.


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cjcold
Professor Quiet
1  cjcold    one week ago

Setting a successful backfire involves much more than just setting a fire. 

 
 

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