California battling major wildfires across state

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Sep 16, 2014

The Weed Fire, that broke out in Northern California on Monday has burned at least 75 structures, forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents and has caused the closure of a major interstate freeway (I-5), according to news reports. It is one of 11 major wildfires burning in the state.

Two other wildfires in the northern part of the state have forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Firefighters are continuing to battle these blazes, including the King Fire in El Dorado County, which officials say has burned nearly 8,600 acres.

At the same time, firefighters continue working to build and reinforce containment lines in steep terrain near a foothill community south of an entrance to Yosemite National Park in central California. About 900 residents there have been asked to evacuate, according to Madera County sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart. Unfortunately, the blaze has destroyed 21 structures; 20 of them homes.

High temperatures and severe drought conditions are being blamed for the fires as bone-dry grasses, downed debris and other vegetation help fuel the flames that have quickly spread over far distances.

WildfireCalFire spokesman Dennis Mathisen echoes this statement as he told reporters, “These fires are yet another example of how the damaging effect of drought has impacted California.”

Sunset Magazine, NFPA and other organizations will participate in a wildfire Twitter chat tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17, about the wildfire situation in the western U.S. Join us at #SunsetChat at 11:00 AM PDT/2:00 PM ET to learn what you can do to help keep your home and property safer from wildfire.

For additional information about preparedness, including specific actions homeowners can take during and after a wildfire has impacted an area, visit NFPA’s wildfire safety webpage or download our wildfire safety checklist and Firewise toolkit to help get your started.