More Than 80,000 Flee California Wildfire
The Blue Cut wildfire near Los Angeles exploded to 25,626 acres with more than 1,300 firefighters and emergency workers involved in fighting it. Cal Fire is urging residents to be extremely cautious.
Firefighters and emergency responders are battling eight California wildfires this week, including the Blue Cut fire outside Los Angeles that exploded to 25,626 acres as of 8 p.m. local time Wednesday and the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur that had grown to about 77,000 acres and was only 60 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Cal Fire's updates. That agency is alerting state residents about National Weather Service Red Flag Warnings for other LA area because of "extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours." And local news media reported more than 80,000 people had evacuated because of the fast-growing Blue Cut fire.
"A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a warning, but fire danger is still high," Cal Fire noted Aug. 17.
It reported low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or a combination of those conditions can cause these warning to be issued and cause Cal Fire to place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines, and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fire.
The agency is urging Californians "to be extremely cautious, especially during periods of high fire danger. It's important all residents and visitors take steps to prevent wildfires. One less spark could mean one less wildfire," offering tips for using gardening equipment safely and taking precautions with campfires, motor vehicles, cigarette butts, target shooting, etc.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County and Interstate 15 was closed for a time because of the Blue Cut fire.