California Wildfires

2016-08-18 01:53:15 | IRFAN
California Wildfires
Ferocious fires evict thousands


An evacuation order has been issued for an area home to more than 82,000 people, just east of Los Angeles. The Blue Cut fire, as it has been named, has destroyed homes and disrupted transport links between California and Nevada. Some people have been running for their lives just ahead of the flames. The blaze first ignited on Tuesday in a drought-ravaged mountain pass and a day later it had spread across nearly 47 square miles (12,200 hectares). The flames have advanced, out of control, despite the efforts of 1,300 firefighters. Commander Mike Wakoski said he had never seen such extreme conditions in 40 years of service. "There will be a lot of families that come home to nothing," said San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig. "It hit hard. It hit fast. It hit with an intensity that we hadn't seen before," he added. There are no known fatalities but dogs are searching the ruins for bodies. Authorities have been unable to say how many homes have been destroyed, but some fear it will be in the hundreds. Wrightwood, a tourist resort surrounded by pine trees in the San Gabriel Mountains, feels like it is besieged by fire. Huge flames whipped by a strong breeze are advancing down a mountain ridge and along a forested valley towards the town. Although it falls within the mandatory evacuation zone some residents have remained, keeping one eye on their homes and another on the fire. There is no sense of panic here. The Grizzly Cafe is open and serving food to police officers and journalists. Half of the sky is a beautiful blue but in the other direction it is ominously thick with smoke as the Blue Cut Fire rages over vast tracts of forest and desert plains. Even for California's firefighters, experienced in tackling wildfires, this blaze - or rather series of blazes - is proving very difficult to tackle. With temperatures high and humidity low, nothing here is safe from this massive fire.


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