Firefighters progress in combating forest fires in California
Will Carr reports on the efforts to keep the flames
Hard wind threatened to return Sunday in Southern California, as firefighters work to contain the wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least one person, a day after Gov. Jerry Brown warned the flames could be “the new normal” in the state.
Wind up to 55 mph predicted on Sunday threatened to flare up existing brands, or distribution of new. The coastal cities of Carpinteria and Montecito in Santa Barbara County was under siege as firefighters worked to keep the flames that put a house, “advanced”, and other houses in a different way. More evacuations were ordered, during the night, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Firefighters were able to make some progress with the six major brands in Saturday after the Santa Ana winds — which are the source of the fires quickly spread across the region calmed down on Saturday.
Firefighters were able to contain some of the spread of forest fires in Southern California.
“The fire continues to threaten structures in different parts of the cities of Ventura, Ojai, Casitas Springs, Santa Paula, Carpinteria, Fillmore and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and Matilija Canyon,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection wrote in an update on the website Saturday night.
A brush fire broke out in Monrovia in Los Angeles County Saturday evening, but it was soon recognised after a quick response from the firefighters. No structures were damaged, and the crew looked to hot spots in the night.
The Thomas Fire, the largest of the wildfires that started a week ago in Ventura County was 15 percent contained as of Saturday night, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. The Skirball Fire was 75 percent contained and the Creek and Rye Burn in Los Angeles County was 80 percent and 65 percent contained, Reuters reported.
Fire-attack aircraft try to smother the fire raging in Southern California.
A 70-year-old woman was killed in a car accident Wednesday while trying to escape the fire in Santa Paula. Nearly 800 homes and other buildings were destroyed and dozens of horses have died since Monday. More than 200,000 people evacuated their homes, although some have since returned after the orders for parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were lifted.
Some homeowners returned Friday to find their homes reduced to ashes. Dick Marsala was too overwhelmed to speak as he searched through the smoldering debris looking for his wallet. It was still too hot, so he climbed back out. Looking through a broken window, he saw a framed picture still hanging on a blackened wall. It was a picture of him golfing.
“I’ll be darned,” he said, his eyes tearing as he put on a pair of sunglasses.
Dozens of mobile homes in a community were destroyed.
“It’s really horrible to see some of these little streets look like a moonscape,” Tom Craft told The Associated Press.
Firefighters have worked for the forest fires, but gusty wind is likely to lead to more outbreaks.
Brown warned on Saturday, after an inventory of the fire damage that forest fires “is the new normal” in California as a result of climate change the combination of strong winds with low humidity.
“This is the new normal, Brown said. “We are ready for the fire fighting on Christmas. This is very strange and unusual.”
Brown said that he had witnessed the “vagaries of the wind,” that had destroyed some houses and left others, and concern for those who lost everything.
“What do you say?” he asked. “If you lose your house and your stuff and people lose their animals, it is a horror and it is a horror we want to minimize.”
Brown urged the AMERICAN lawmakers to pay more attention to dealing with natural disasters such as fire, floods and earthquakes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam