Fires in California

Fires rage all over southern California


The view from freeway 405 Wednesday morning.

Sandy Hutchins, Sports Editor

This Wednesday a fifth fire broke out near one of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles. This is the most recent of the five and is named Skirball. The five fires are Rye fire, Creek fire, Thomas fire, Skirball fire, and Little Mountain fire. Three out of five of these fires are located in Los Angeles County, putting thousands of residents at risk of losing their homes.

Thomas fire, the largest one, is located in Ventura County just west of Los Angeles County. Thomas fire is over 65,000 acres large and has caused all the mandatory evacuations that are currently in effect. Rye fire weighs in at 7,000 acres, Creek at 11,377 acres, Little Mountain at 100 acres, and Skirball at 50 acres. More than 1,700 firefighters were working to contain a fire inVentura County that had burned 65,000 acres by Wednesday morning and was threatening 12,000 structures.

The fire that broke out near the 405 highway that is in the picture provided is dangerously close to the J. Paul Getty Museum that contains collections worth millions. No art was evacuated, though, because the museum is designed to protect against this type of natural disaster. The 405 highway was also closed for the northbound lanes for four miles, delaying and rerouting thousands of people on their way to work in the morning.

These fires spread quickly as California is very dry this year and with gusts of over 60 mph embers quickly ignite other areas of dry vegetation. Thomas Rolinski, a senior meteorologist with the United States Forest Service said, “What’s unusual is the fact that fuels are so dry, normally by this time of year we would have had enough rainfall to where this wouldn’t be an issue.” This is California’s worst year for wildfires in history. Over 1 million acres having been burned, over 40 people having died, and thousands of buildings have been destroyed. In total over 4,000 firefighters are battling the wildfires in Southern California that have burned more than 83,000 acres.