A rash of fires this year has destroyed homes, subjected residents to evacuation orders and resulted in at least one death.
Here are some of the fires now burning in California:
- Loma fire: 2,250 acres burned in the Santa Cruz mountains; destroyed seven structures, including one home; 10% contained as of Sept. 28; began Sept. 26.
- Sawmill fire: 1,500 acres burned in Sonoma County; 55% contained as of Sept. 27; began Sept. 25.
- Canyon fire: 12,518 acres burned at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County; fully contained; began Sept. 17
- Soberanes fire: 128,380 acres burned, one person killed and 68 structures destroyed in Monterey County; 81% contained as of Sept. 27; began July 22
A fast-moving wildfire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains has scorched at least 1,000 acres, destroyed a home and triggered evacuations.
Flames from the Loma fire are threatening at least 300 structures near Loma Prieta and Loma Chiquita roads, 10 miles northwest of Morgan Hill, in the mountains north of Santa Cruz, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Mandatory evacuations were issued to residents living in homes in the Loma area.
Triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions are driving the explosive blaze, which started about 3 p.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire Capt. Brian Oliver. The fire is 5% contained.
Firefighters in Los Angeles on Thursday knocked down a 6.3-acre brush fire that started at 11:45 a.m. in Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium.
A water-dropping helicopter aided about 100 firefighters as they attacked the flames “hard and fast from the ground and the air,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.
Powerful winds, low humidity and landscapes left very dry from years of drought could create critical fire danger conditions in the Southland this week, starting Wednesday, forecasters said.
Gusty, northerly “sundowner” winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, are expected to begin Wednesday evening along the western edge of the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
A Ventura County firefighter was killed and another was injured early Wednesday in a rollover crash near Lompoc as they were hauling water to the Canyon fire at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The firefighters were assigned to a water tender by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and headed to the 12,353-acre wildfire at about 6:20 a.m., when the rollover crash occurred on the westbound California 246, said Capt. Mike Lindbery, spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.
A wildfire burning on the south side of Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc has more than doubled in size since the weekend and now covers 10,542 acres, Air Force officials said Tuesday.
The Canyon fire was 18% contained, and 633 firefighters from federal, state and local fire agencies were battling the blaze.
The fire was “very active” Monday, growing by about 6,000 acres on the north and west sides, Air Force officials said in a statement.
Cultural sites related to the Chumash people and wildlife habitats are potentially threatened by the fire, and there are watershed concerns, military officials said. A team of resources advisers is working with fire crews to identify what is being threatened.
No structures have been damaged.
The cost of fighting the 189-square-mile Soberanes fire burning near Big Sur has passed $200 million, making it the costliest to fight in U.S. history, according to federal data.
A wildfire burning on the south side of Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc grew to 4,528 acres Monday despite an aggressive air and ground attack to stop flames from advancing.
Over the weekend, the Canyon fire forced officials to postpone the launch of an Atlas V rocket. The rocket was scheduled to take off Sunday and carry the WorldView-4, a commercial satellite that is to snap high-resolution images of Earth, according to United Launch Alliance, the contractor hired to lift the satellite into orbit.
The fire has caused power outages at several buildings on the base, according to Air Force officials. Generators are providing power to those facilities until downed power lines are repaired or replaced, they said.
The Air Force has further restricted public access to the site as crews worked to cut new fire lines and douse spot fires.
Nearly 800 firefighters from state, federal and local agencies have been dispatched to battle the Canyon fire burning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
The 1,200-acre blaze has forced officials to postpone the launch of a commercial satellite, authorities said.
“It’s burning in some very tough vegetation,” Wayne Seda, the assistant chief of the Vandenberg Fire Department, told reporters Sunday. “The fire grew rapidly.... It jumped roads at times and came out of the containment lines.”
The Holy fire in Orange County started in the early morning just east of Trabuco Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest.
The blaze wasn’t threatening any homes but was burning in steep, dry hillsides around Holy Jim Canyon that are difficult for firefighters to reach, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz.
Fire officials lifted evacuations for the Banning Bench area Tuesday night, allowing residents with valid identification to return home.
Authorities also said they believe the fire was caused by humans and have asked any witnesses who may have seen juveniles near the entrance to Bogart Park to call the arson hotline at (800) 633-2836.
About 700 people were displaced Tuesday as a fast-moving brush fire burned out of control near Beaumont.
The Bogart fire had burned at least 500 acres and was at 0% containment. About 200 homes were evacuated, according to Cal Fire.
It was burning north of Beaumont in Cherry Valley near the intersection of Winesap Avenue and International Park Road.
One outbuilding was lost, Cal Fire said.
A fast-moving vegetation fire in Cherry Valley spread to 400 acres Tuesday afternoon, prompting evacuations for residents of a mobile home park and some homes northwest of Banning, authorities said.
The Bogart fire was reported at 12:25 p.m. near the intersection of Winesap Avenue and International Park Road, according to the Riverside County fire department.
Within an hour, the blaze jumped to 100 acres, then quadrupled by 3 p.m., fire officials said.
Residents were evacuated in the Highland Springs Village mobile home park and Banning Bench, a rural plateau northwest of Banning. An evacuation center was opened at the Albert A. Chatigny Senior Community Center in Beaumont.
More than 320 firefighters have been assigned to combat the blaze. They are being assisted by five helicopters, two bulldozers and nine air tankers.
Cherry Valley is located off I-10 in Riverside County, with a population of more than 6,300, census records show.
A new fire broke out Friday in Kern County, prompting officials to ask some residents to evacuate.
The Range fire was burning in the Bear Valley Springs area. More than 600 acres have burned. According to the Kern County Fire Department, more than 400 firefighters were on scene and some were doing structure protection.
The fire is 0% contained. It was burning east of the town of Arvin off Highway 223.
The Clayton fire in Lake County destroyed scores of home and carved a path of destruction through Lower Lake's downtown area.
New drone footage shows the aftermath of the fire.
KRON-TV said it used the drone after air restrictions were lifted by firefighters.
A Lake County man has been charged with intentionally setting the fire.
The Chimney fire in San Luis Obispo County was burning Tuesday about two miles east of Hearst Castle, where for days crew have been protecting the tourist attraction by cutting multiple fire lines.
The historic 165-room estate remains closed, and tours are canceled through Sunday, California State Parks said in a statement. Visitors with reservations through the weekend will be contacted about refunds, officials said.
The Chimney fire has challenged firefighters, who thought they had gained the upper hand before winds picked up and it exploded over the weekend, officials said. The blaze was mostly moving north, but fire crews were preparing for the winds to shift on Tuesday, said Cal Fire Capt. Lucas Spelman.
The fire is burning over a large area that has created dramatically different firefighting conditions, he said.
On the western side of the fire, closer to the ocean, high humidity on Monday held the moisture in the air and trapped the smoke, making visibility so bad that it grounded firefighting aircraft, Spelman said. On the eastern side, firefighters had had the “exact opposite thing going on,” with “exceptionally low” humidity, dry brush and fast-moving flames, Spelman said.
“It’s almost like the mountains are just doused in gasoline,” said Spelman, who has worked on numerous major wildfires already this year. “The brush is just burning at a rate that’s incredible.”
Right now, we’re at that point where I’m not surprised anymore. Before, maybe we’d have a fire that’d do this once or twice a year, and now everything in the beginning of the fire season is burning explosively. It’s not going to get any better this year. … It’s like we’re at war.”
The Blue Cut fire, now fully contained after burning for one week near the Cajon Pass, destroyed an estimated 105 homes and 213 other structures in San Bernardino County and now ranks as the 20th most destructive wildfire in state history, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The massive fire put more than 82,000 residents under mandatory evacuation orders and created major transportation problems when it forced the closure of the 15 Freeway and Highway 138 and scorched a stretch of freight railroad tracks that curve through the Cajon Pass.
The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.