California wildfires scorch area bigger than New York City and Boston
Thomas fire, the most significant of six fires burning in southern California, has destroyed almost 800 builds and remains only 15% contained
California‘s biggest wildfire continues to burn out of control, triggering fresh evacuations as firefighters duel a total of six fires that collectively have scorched an area bigger than New York City and Boston combined.
The week-old Thomas fire in Ventura County had embraced 230,500 acres by Monday, destroying almost 800 buildings and threatening Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito and other coastal enclaves north of Los Angeles. It is the fifth-biggest wildfire in California’s modern history- and only 15% contained.
Strong desert breezes known as Santa Anas which have fanned the flames were expected to ease overnight but steep valleys and parched vegetation were acting as tinder. No rainfall is forecast for the next 10 days.
” The gusts are kind of squirrely right now ,” county fire spokesman Mike Eliason told the Associated Press.” Some places the smoke is running straight up in the air, and others it’s blowing sideways. Depends on what canyon we’re in .”
More than 200,000 people have fled their homes since the wildfires flared last week, devastating swathes of scenery. Despite apocalyptic-looking scenes simply one person is confirmed to have died- Virginia Pesola, 70, whose car crashed as she attempted to evacuate.