The state of California (USA) experienced its second wave of fires of the summer this long weekend, in the middle of a heat wave in which temperatures were much higher than usual and only a few weeks after it was declared the first, in mid-August.
Unlike the first wave, when the fires were concentrated in the north of the state, this time the worst part is being taken by the center and the south, with two large fires burning near Los Angeles and San Diego, and a third declared in the Sierra Nevada.
This third, that of the sierra, is the one that spread the fastest this Monday, burning two dozen homes in the small town of Big Creek and forcing Auberry’s population of 2,500 to be completely evacuated.
In addition, the fire forced the evacuation by helicopter of more than 200 people on Sunday from the popular Mammoth Pool camping area.
Since Friday started, the creek fire -as it has been baptized by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) – it has already burned 32,000 hectares and the ten teams of firefighters who work in it have not yet made any progress in the containment tasks.
Simultaneously, another fire burns in San Bernardino county, in the vicinity of Los Angeles, which has destroyed 3,000 hectares and which began on Saturday morning because of a “pyrotechnic device” used at a party, according to the firefighters, who have it contained in 7%.
The third major fire started this weekend has also been burning since Saturday in an area of vegetation east of San Diego, near the Mexican border, and has already calcined more than 4,000 hectares.
The flames are spreading very easily due to the dryness of the terrain – many parts of California have hardly received rainwater for months – and the extreme temperatures that are being experienced by the heat wave, which in some cases is exceeding 40 degrees.
The intense heat has also prompted the state’s leading electric power provider, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to announce that it may have to resort to deliberate outages to prevent the system from overloading, and as a preventive measure against potential new ones. fires.
This new wave of fires is added to the one declared on the weekend of August 15 and 16, when an unusual electrical storm in California occurred in much of the state in which 10,800 lightning strikes fell, but little rain, which, together with a heat wave and the dryness of the terrain, led to thousands of fires.