Destructive And Deadly Wildfires Rage Through California
This has been a difficult wildfire season for California.
Due to record drought conditions in California, a wildfire can start easier, burn longer, and travel farther.
Cal Fire, a wildfire fighting agency, tweeted an interactive map that shows there are around twenty-five active wildfires throughout California as of right now.
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) August 1, 2015
Altogether, those wildfires have done a more than 50,000 acres worth of damage. The Rocky Fire wildfire has grown to 25,750 acres and was only five percent contained as of Saturday, according to Cal Fire’s Chief of Public Information, Daniel Berlant.
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) August 2, 2015
The Rocky Fire wildfire is burning in northern California and has destroyed roughly 28 structures, but thousands are under threat. According to Dominic Polito, a firefighter spokesman, approximately 6,100 structures are being threatened by the vicious and uncontrollable wildfire.
Meanwhile, the Frog Fire wildfire, which is also affecting Northern California, has burned up to 3,000 acres. Although it is a great deal smaller than the Rocky Fire wildfire, the Frog Fire has now become deadly.
David Ruhl, an inhabitant of Rapid City, South Dakota, was a firefighter on temporary assignment in the area since June, presumably to aid in the wildfire containment effort. Thursday night, he went missing.
Firefighters searched for Ruhl throughout the night and found his body on Friday.
The Forest Service has not released the details of Ruhl’s death, but he is officially listed as a casualty of the deadly wildfire. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The deadly and destructive wildfires around California show little signs of stopping. Many are around 60 percent controlled, but there are a few that continue to rage, almost unchecked.
Thunderstorms brought thousands of lightning strikes on Thursday and ignited hundreds of small wildfires. Many of those small wildfires became part of larger fire complexes, hampering the effort to control the flames.
Weather reports don’t bring much hope, either. Throughout the weekend, California may see more dry thunderstorms, which means new fire outbreaks, and though their temperatures may drop, the conditions are dry enough that Berlant believes it won’t do much to stop the flames.
Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Friday and there have been many mandatory evacuations. The California National Guard has sent help to the areas battling wildfires in the form of nine helicopters.
[Image courtesy of Bill Wechter/Getty Images]