May California Wildfires

After an unusually dry winter across the US state of California, the 2013 wildfire season could be exceptionally busy. The ‘season’ started on 2nd of May with the springs fire event, burning nearly 25,000 acres, destroying 10 buildings, causing thousands to evacuate and injuring a dozen. The warm dry conditions continued throughout the month which has allowed more wildfires to begin and take hold.

On Tuesday 28th May a fire broke out at the White Rock camping park situated in the Los Padres National Forest within Santa Barbara County. The fire burnt 1,800 acres of forest in a matter of hours, fanned by the strong winds, leading to an evacuation of 4000 residents and campers. However, fire-fighters have begun to take control of the fire from Wednesday 29th May with 80% of the fire being contained after ground and aerial attack methods deemed successful.

Another of the latest fires to hit the area began on Thursday 30th of May, within the San Francisquito Canyon, north of Santa Clarita. Reports have suggested that the fire began at the power plant near the local Canyon road, and within 12 hours of the blaze being spotted; evacuations were ordered for the Green Valley community, which is 50 miles north of Los Angeles.

Flare-ups and spot fires were reported early on Friday 31st May and with high temperatures likely across the weekend the fire threatens to spread, as only 15% of the blaze has been contained. The fire has already caused roads to close and has burnt power lines, cutting many peoples supplies, as the fire rushed up the steep terrain of the canyon.

The fire is being tackled by 550 personnel from the US Forest Department and the LA County Fire Department with planes capable of carrying 31,000 gallons of water being used to contain the fire; however the fire continues to burn. Wildfires are being dealt with across the Californian state, with early indications suggesting that the summer fire season could be a busy and prolonged one.

Adam Mountstevens
NDA Volunteer

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