South California: Deadly Forest Fires Fanned-Up

Firefighters have been battling a wildfire that reportedly emerged on Sunday in the San Bernardino National Forest provoking the evacuation of the dimly populated Summit Valley area east of the dam. The cause of fire is still under investigation. The fire is ablaze about 55 miles east of Los Angeles in an isolated area near Silverwood Lake, an area near the small mountain community of Crestline.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Robert Taylor said that at around 20 miles per hours speed, the winds drove a large rising plume of smoke north toward the Mojave Desert.

Officials warn that the quality of air may get detrimental and may reach unhealthy levels in the areas affected by the large quantities of smoke. The fire reportedly spread to two miles within hours. More than 350 fire fighters have been assigned the case and several helicopters and air tankers took to duty.

Also in the previous months there have been wildfires in Los Angeles County and Lake Berryessa east of San Francisco.

The fires have destroyed film sets at Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita which has some of the greatest old western style buildings used for movies. A non-profit sanctuary was prompted to get their animals evacuated for the same reason. More than 400 animals which included Bengal Tigers and lions were forced to leave their natural reservoirs.

The biggest of these fires near the mountains in Big Sur has forced the people to leave their homes. About 1650 homes have been evacuated.  California’s forestry department has said that a wild terrain fire 5 miles south of Garrapata State Park has forced the communities of Palo Colorado and Carmel Highlands to evacuate.

County fire Chief Daryl Osby said, “For this time of year, it's the most extreme fire behaviour I've seen in my 32-year career."

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said, "The fire's just doing what it wants right now. We have to stick back, let it do what it wants to and attack it where we can."


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