California wildfires have devastated the area. 21 fires affected the state and 26 outbuildings and 24 homes were destroyed by the flames. Other 6.300 homes were threatened.
12.000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes and multiple roads were closed. The most severe California wildfire occurred north of San Francisco, in the Lower Lake area. Over the weekend the fire tripled in size and reached 84 square miles.
Since Thursday 70 fires have been reported in Humboldt County and according to Cal Fire, 52 of them had been contained. On Sunday 18 small blazes that were sparked by lightning charred 2.000 acres. 18 firefighters had to deal with the situation.
On Saturday three of the firefighters who were dealing with a fire northeast of Sacramento were burned. The fire had begun on July 25 and it destroyed 54 homes and two building. In addition other buildings are still considered at risk. Fortunately the three firefighters were released and are expected to make a full recovery. One has already returned to duty. However a fourth firefighter still has serious burns and remained hospitalized.
Unfortunately one firefighter was killed as he was dealing with blaze that started on Thursday 100 miles south of Oregon, in the Modoc National Forest. Engine Capt. David Ruhl was inside a vehicle while he was trying to find a way to deal with the fast-moving flames. Officials lost contact with him and his body was recovered on Friday.
Ruhl was from South Dakota and was a member of a Black Hills National Forest firefighting team. He started working with California firefighters in June. Forest Service said that this week an autopsy will be conducted in order to determine the cause of his death.
Jason Shanley, state fire spokesman, said that officials are amazed at these unprecedented events. In spite of the fact that on Sunday the temperatures had dropped the humidity increased the fires continued to extend. Jay Smith, another state fire spokesman explained that a couple of thousand acres were destroyed in a day, but no other homes were lost. He added that, as long as the larger California wildfires are concerned, it depends on what mother nature has in store for the firefighters.
Nikki Shatter from Clear Lake commented on the events:
Everyone we know that lives down there, they have nothing anymore. It’s just crazy”
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