Fast-moving wildfire kills one in California, forces evacuations
Several wildfires are scorching the western United States and forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes, with one person killed in a blaze near California’s border with Oregon.
Details on the fatality were not released Friday pending notification of next-of-kin, but the victim was found in a structure in Hornbrook, according to Sheriff Jon Lopey of Siskiyou County.
The Klamathon Fire has burned 9,600 acres in California and parts of southern Oregon, and is one of about 10 fires raging in the state, fueled by rising temperatures and gusty winds.
The blaze started Thursday and is spreading fast, and about 750 people have been evacuated, fire officials said. It’s 5% contained and has destroyed 40 structures, officials said.
Firefighters in Santa Barbara County were battling a new “fast-moving and wind-driven” blaze Friday night. The Holiday Fire has scorched about 35 acres and prompted the evacuation of about 2,500 people in Goleta, county officials said.
Firefighters have been working in tough conditions, enduring triple-digit temperatures and strong winds that have increased the fire threat. On Friday, many record high temperatures were broken in cities across California. The mercury hit 114 degrees at the Burbank Airport and 117 degrees in Van Nuys Airport, the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office said.
Conditions are expected to ease Saturday, said Tim Chavez of Cal Fire.
The largest fire burning in the state is known as the County Fire, and has scorched more than 88,000 acres in Napa and Yolo counties. It was 42% contained by Saturday morning.
California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego County, saying people and property are under “extreme peril” due to the West Fire.
The 400-acre brush fire is swallowing up homes in the densely populated suburb of Alpine and it’s only 4% contained. Hundreds of people living and working in the vicinity have been evacuated.
The state fires are among 60 large blazes burning in 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.