California has seen 157,160 acres burn in wildfires this year, according to Cal Fire data, which includes wildfires 10 acres or larger.
That’s a fraction of how many acres had burned by this time last year.
But fire officials have cautioned residents to remain vigilant and keep an eye on the weather. It’s the time of year when offshore weather patterns typically bring hotter, drier and windier conditions, drying out fuels and increasing the probability of ignition, said Capt. Tony Imbrenda, a spokesman for the L.A. County Fire Department.
In other words, there’s still plenty of time for this year’s fires to rival last year’s.
“The weather is such that it could support that type of fire season,” Imbrenda said. “So whether or not it’s going to happen, it remains to be seen, but we always prepare for the worst.”
Here are the fires larger than 500 acres burning in California, based on data from InciWeb and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This list will be updated.
The Walker fire
Size: 54, 612 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 97%
Location: 11 miles east of Taylorsville in Plumas National Forest
Start date: Sept. 4
Cause: Under investigation
Over the course of almost two weeks, the Walker fire consumed more than 85 square miles. It is the largest fire to burn in California so far this year — so massive that it can be seen from space.
The fire is burning in the Plumas National Forest, which spans 1.1 million acres through the northern Sierra Nevada. About 75 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail extends across the forest, but through-hikers need not fear, as the southern perimeter of the Walker fire is an estimated 28 miles from the trail, said Becky Shufelt, a public information officer.
Mountainous and remote, the terrain is challenging. Nearly 2,100 firefighters and support personnel worked through the weekend to improve containment lines and put out spot fires. They were able to stop the spread of a separate wildfire that broke out about three miles north on Sunday. That blaze, the Stony fire, was held to 1 acre.
Wind drove much of the Walker fire’s growth. On Sept. 6, the fire burned 18,000 acres. Fed by hot, dry conditions, the fire found the path of least resistance, burning northeast through creek beds and canyons, Diondray Wiley, a fire behavior analyst on the Walker fire, said in a Facebook video update.
“All that energy created a perfect avenue for the fire to make that particular type of progression,” Wiley said.
At this time, fire officials believe no structures have been damaged or destroyed.
The Taboose fire
Size: 10,121 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 63 %
Location: 10 miles southwest of Big Pine
Start date: Sept. 4
Cause: Under investigation, lightning suspected
Yet again, the area where the Taboose fire is burning is under a red flag warning, which expires Thursday morning.
Over the weekend, the area was under a red flag warning, and incident officials were concerned about what that would mean for the fire’s growth. Although the wind tested containment lines, most held overnight Monday. The fire did move into the Shingle Mill Bench area, and because of that, fire managers will hold back firefighting resources in anticipation of wind that forecasters anticipate will blow through the region Wednesday and Thursday.
Wind has already wreaked havoc once on this fire. On Sept. 6, the Taboose fire was only 380 acres and had shown no growth overnight. That changed the night of Sept. 8, when 40- to 50-mph winds blew through the area, causing the fire to jump containment lines and grow 10 times larger. By Monday, the fire was the second-largest blaze burning in California.
No structures have been destroyed, but a trailer burned. Four vehicles were destroyed by the fire at the Red Lake trailhead.
The Springs fire
Size: 4,840 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 98%
Location: 13 miles southeast of Lee Vining
Start date: July 26
“When will the Springs fire be put out?” a recent fire update read. “This question has been posed to fire managers since late July.”
Fire managers have used a range of tactics to extinguish the Springs fire, including starting low-intensity fires to reduce the risk of larger, longer-lasting and more severe wildfires in the future.
“I understand that the long-term presence of firefighters in the community and sense of anxiousness about heavy smoke production are on people’s minds,” said Gordon Martin, Mono Lake and Mammoth district ranger and Springs Fire Agency administrator, in a fire update in late August. “I believe that carrying out this action to fully meet the objectives has a high potential for minimizing these and other adverse effects to the community in the future.”
The South fire
Size: 5,190 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 53%
Location: Southeast of Tomhead Mountain, west of Red Bluff
Start date: Sept. 5
Challenges abound on the South fire, including steep terrain, narrow roads, limited access and numerous dead trees that have caused multiple firefighter deaths in recent years.
The fire is burning in a remote and rugged area of Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the largest national forest in California, and in about 700 acres that fall under Cal Fire’s responsibility.
A total of 441 firefighters and support personnel have been assigned to work the South fire, according to Shasta-Trinity National Forest officials. Some firefighters have been assigned to protect the small number of seasonal cabins and ranches in the area, while others are constructing protective boundaries around the fire and scouting natural barriers, such as ridges, to use to their advantage in containing the blaze.
The Cow fire
Size: 1,975 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 30%
Location: Inyo National Forest
Start date: July 25
The fire is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness, a remote, high-elevation area of the Inyo National Forest.
It’s an example of a naturally caused fire that’s actually expected to restore and maintain forest health, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Because of its low intensity and remoteness, firefighters focused on confining and containing the blaze by reinforcing natural barriers, such as granite ridges and wet meadows. They’re now monitoring the fire to ensure it remains within the control lines.
The Lime fire
Size: 1,872 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 99%
Location: South of Cottonwood Peak in the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District in Klamath National Forest
Start date: Sept. 4
The wildfire is one of dozens sparked by lightning during a thunderstorm Sept. 4 in the Klamath National Forest, which spans 1.7 million acres across Siskiyou County in California and Jackson County in Oregon. It’s burning in the Lime Gulch area, about 10 miles north of Yreka. Firefighters have been challenged by steep terrain and limited access points.
The Middle fire
Size: 1,328 acres
Percent of perimeter contained: 15%
Location: 1 mile east of Canyon Creek Trailhead in Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Start date: Sept. 5
Over the weekend, the Middle fire more than doubled in size, but that growth seems to be slowing down, fire officials said . Like many of the fires burning in national forests in California, the fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain. Two firefighters were injured during the initial attack on the blaze. There were 109 firefighters and support personnel assigned to the Middle fire as of Tuesday evening.
Source : latimes
Jennifer Cantelli was born and raised in the busy city of Lancaster. As a journalist, Jennifer has contributed to many online publications including the The Crimson White and USA Today. In regards to academics, Jennifer earned a degree in business from Carnegie Mellon University and an master’s degree from Temple University. Jennifer follows the money and covers all aspects of state and federal economy.here at Times Records.