Wednesday, August 17, 2016

35,000 Homes 80,000 People Evacuated Blue Cut Fire

from weather channel  

Aug 17 2016 03:15 PM EDT
By Eric Chaney

Massive California Fire Burns Out of Control; 82,000 Evacuated

Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari has the latest information on the Blue Cut fire burning in California. It's causing people to flee the city, burning homes and buildings and turning the skies bright red. 
Story Highlights
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency due to the Blue Cut fire.
The inferno has burned 30,000 acres in 24 hours and forced more than 82,000 to evacuate.
The wildfire was started amid extremely hot, dry conditions and low humidity, making the battle more difficult for firefighters.
Sheriff's deputies are going door to door again Wednesday asking residents to leave areas under threat from California's Blue Cut fire. The evacuation area has grown to the west, San Bernadino County Sheriff  John McMahon said in a press conference, as the fire jumped to 30,000 acres Wednesday morning.
"When those officers ask you to leave, we ask that you do leave and not shelter in place," McMahon said. "We would hate for the fire to overrun our neighborhood and you be stuck inside and not have a way out."
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the fast-moving wildfire in Southern California's Cajon Pass, which exploded to its current size in just 24 hours and has chased more than 82,000 residents from nearly 35,000 homes.
With low humidity and temperatures in the triple digits, the fire, first reported around 10:30 a.m. PDT Tuesday morning near Interstate 15, is burning out of control, reported.
"This moved so fast," Darren Dalton, 51, who evacuated from his home in Wrightwood, told the Associated Press. "It went from 'have you heard there's a fire?' to 'mandatory evacuation' before you could take it all in."
Six firefighters were briefly trapped while defending homes and assisting in evacuations in the Swarthout Canyon area west of Cajon Pass, according to a press release from San Bernardino County Fire. The firefighters were able to shelter in place within a nearby structure, but two sustained minor injuries. They were treated and went back to the fire line.
"We were fully engulfed in smoke," firefighter Cody Anderson told KCBS-TV, as reported by the AP. "It was really hard just to see your hand in front of your face. We just hunkered down and sat there and waited for the fire to blow over."
A structure burns west of Interstate 15 on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016.(Will Lester/SCNG)
As of late Wednesday morning, the raging inferno was still at 0 percent containment, according to Cal Fire.
“We know that we’ve lost structures, it’s unknown how many at this time,” San Bernardino County Fire Department public information officer Tracey Martinez told the L.A. Times. “This fire is still raging out of control.”
At Blue Mountain Farms, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles in the town of Phelan, ranchers had to face the reality that a wildfire was burning in their area for the second time in two years.
"Breathing smoke again, just like last year," Shannon Anderson, a partner in the ranch, told the Associated Press in a phone interview. "It's raining ash."
Some 700 firefighters are battling the blaze, according to InciWeb. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
"We’re seeing very aggressive fire behavior, burning through the brush," U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bob Poole told "This is difficult to get in front of this and try to corral it."

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