Climate, neglect, and bad luck: the keys of the California fires A new fire threatens the mansions of Los Angeles while improving the conditions atmósféricas The winds in California force evacuation of 180,000 people and cut off the light to million to prevent fire
experts from The National Weather Service of the united States say that they did not remember having seen a forecast as well. That’s why they decided to give the whole drama possible and on Tuesday evening launched a “red alert extreme”, an expression that had not been used before, because of the danger of fires in southern California. From midnight, hurricane force winds began to sweep the region, so that the slightest spark could cause a catastrophe. In the morning, the nightmare was real. A small fire north of the city that began at 6 in the morning it had grown to 500 acres by 9:30. At this time the fire surrounded the Presidential Library Ronald Reagan and threatened to 6,500 homes.
Simi Valley is a residential area of villas and horse ranches with high purchasing power northwest of Los Angeles. Some neighborhoods had for the morning evacuation orders mandatory and at least three schools had suspended classes. The fire, dubbed as Easy Fire, was small in length, but it is moving at a speed that complicated the tasks of extinction. In the middle of the 500 hectares razed in the mid-morning was the complex of Library Reagan, a spectacular museum on top of a hill, where are buried the president and his wife.
despite the spectacular images that went around the world, the resort suffered no damage. From minute one the priority of firefighters was to save the complex, which houses all the historical records of the Reagan presidency. In addition, it helped the work of 500 goats. After the fire of 2017, the Library decided to hire goats to eat all the vegetation around the complex each year. This Wednesday, its leaders attributed it to the goats and to a change of wind at the last moment the fact that the flames do not reach up to the monument. The fire line came within a few tens of meters.
In the last part of fire of the day, at 6 in the afternoon, it was reported that the Easy-Fire had consumed 670 hectráreas and was not controlled. Two structures had burned. The fire chief of Ventura warned that the conditions of extreme winds would continue at least 24 hours more.
View of the fire from the houses of Simi Valley, California. EFE
In Los Angeles, the emergency services passed a night of extreme tension as the winds arrived with a fire burning inside the urban area. A massive response from the emergency services had managed to contain 30% the fire Sunday in the hill next to the Getty museum, located in the middle of some of the most privileged of the world to the west of the city. The fire Getty has burned just 300 acres, but the threat of 10,000 houses and, above all, in the current situation air a single pavesa flying can cause a tragedy, as recalled by the chief of the fire department of the city, Ralph Terraces.
While the winds were invaluable in the centre of the city of Los Angeles, gusts exceeding 120 kilometres per hour in other areas such as the north of the city, where the local tv ABC showed live overturned trucks on the highway. What is common to all of southern California and the state is an extreme dryness that keeps the emergency services in a permanent state of alarm, despite the fact that by the time the figures for area burned are very far from the years of record of 2017 and 2018. The most important difference is that this year there have been no fatalities from the fire.
This state of alarm “is exacerbated”, in the words of the governor’s Gavin Newsom, by the decision of the electric companies make cuts of light to prevent that their infrastructures are to blame for the spark fatal. On Tuesday, the Pacific Gas and Electric company announced that with the wind forecast it was proposed to cut off the light to around 600,000 customers in northern California.
The motives of PG&E for power outages on a massive scale and with appearance of very little planning are beginning to be questioned in California. The power cuts are a tactic more to prevent fires, but many denounce the fact that what you are doing, PG&E is to protect itself from liability, rather than thinking of security. Some clients had been without light for five days.
The company’s most important southern California Edison, cut off the light on Wednesday morning to 68,000 customers in the counties of Los Angeles and the surrounding area with the forecast of gusty hurricane, few figures are more surgical than those of the company in the light of the north. In addition, published on its website detailed maps of the neighborhoods that are affected.
In the north, the firefighters had managed to finally significant progress to control the so-called fire Kincade, who threatened thousands of homes in the city of Santa Rosa, 90 kilometers north of San Francisco. This is the same area where the lives of 23 people by a similar fire in 2017, which was a factor of concern added to the authorities. The Wednesday, firefighters had managed to control it to 45% after hitting 31.000 hectares in a week.
The figure, however, is provisional in the strength of the gusts of wind, which is expected to last at least all around the Thursday. This fire of Santa Rosa grew up in all directions at such a speed during the weekend that opened a breach in the perimeter that is believed to be controlled, which was lowered from 10% to 5% on Sunday. More than 5,000 people have worked on this fire, and more than 180,000 have been evacuated from their homes at some point. On Wednesday, remained the biggest fire active in California.
Both the fire as the inside Los Angeles are being investigated. But PG&E has already informed the regulator that one of its high-tension wires was a problem in the area and the time where he started the fire Kincade. Tuesday, transcended in social networks images recorded from a highway that show the moment that started the fire Getty, allegedly by a tree that fell on some wires of the light.