Whittier, Alamo Fires Prompt Evacuations Amid California Heat Wave – NBCNews.com

Tom MarkLast Update : Sunday 9 July 2017 - 12:57 PM
Whittier, Alamo Fires Prompt Evacuations Amid California Heat Wave – NBCNews.com

The so-called Whittier Fire burns in Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, California, on Saturday, July 8, 2017. Ray Ford / Noozhawk.com

The fire “has real potential for growth” because the area hasn’t burned in around 70 years, national forest public affairs officer Andrew Madsen said.

Tom Horning, a camper from San Diego, said he spent two days in Lake Cachuma, near where the fire burned, when his wife got a text asking if they were able to evacuate safely.

He said he looked off in the distance, saw the smoke, and tried to head back away from the fire but was turned away at the highway.

“As far as other people were in danger of losing their homes, I mean we’re, we’re kind of lucky,” Horning told KSBY. “All we have is our camping stuff.”

The second fire, known as the Alamo Fire, which burned in San Luis Obispo County, north of Santa Barbara County, has exploded to 19,000 acres after breaking out on Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.

The fire was 10 percent contained Saturday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, also known as Cal Fire, said.

Evacuation orders affected around 200 homes.

The fires in Southern California burned amid record-setting heat. Downtown Los Angeles had a high of 98 degrees, breaking a 131-year record for the day set in 1886, the National Weather Service said.

In Butte County north of Sacramento, a third blaze, the so-called Wall Fire that broke out on Friday continued to grow Saturday, and was 2,700 acres and was 20 percent contained, Cal Fire said.

It has destroyed 10 homes and four people were injured, according to the agency.

“We’re doing our best to get our upper hand on it, but we have a lot to contend with, with the weather and the fuels that are out there — very dry,” Cal Fire Capt. Amy Head

told NBC affiliate KCRA.

“So, a long road ahead of us.”


Flames from a wildfire engulf trees near Oroville, Calif., on Saturday, July 8, 2017. Noah Berger / AP

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2017-07-09 2017-07-09
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