A tale of fire and ice: California wildfires- 28,000 acres burned in Ventura County

May 4, 2013CALIFORNIAThe wildfire burning through Ventura County has scorched 28,000 acres, and firefighters have only 20% of the blaze surrounded, officials said. The Ventura County Fire Department said the air attack would end at sunset and the Springs fire would be attacked by ground crews. “Barring unusual events, we do not expect to receive any new updates on the fire until tomorrow morning,” authorities said in a statement. Elsewhere in Southern California, firefighters quickly knocked down brush fires that threatened homes in Glendale and the San Gabriel Valley suburb of Walnut. Glendale officials credited the clearing of flammable brush and a decisive airborne attack from water-dropping helicopters as critical in gaining the upper hand on that 75-acre blaze, which scorched the Chevy Chase Canyon area north of the 134 Freeway. “We hit it quickly,” Glendale spokesman Tom Lorenz said. The city’s firefighters, Lorenz said, had been preparing and planning for brush fires due to the recent high winds. Los Angeles County firefighters took an hour to knock down a five-acre fire that threatened homes in the the 600 block of North Silver Valley Trail in Walnut, a suburb of 30,000 near Diamond Bar. “We sent the world,” said fire inspector Quvondo Johnson. “We’ve got approximately 200 firefighters — air, ground, the whole works. … We didn’t play.” In Ventura County, flames have come within 100 feet of multimillion-dollar homes in the Hidden Valley area, nestled in the mountains south of Thousand Oaks. The area includes numerous luxury ranch homes, including many with stables housing horses and other animals. By 6:30 p.m. Friday, the scene had calmed considerably on Hidden Valley Road. A small number of apparent residents continued to trickle out of the homes, but most of the vehicular traffic on the road was from fire and law enforcement personnel. Though some trees were visibly burning and others were smoldering off the main road, and occasional hot spots lined the hillside, visible fire activity had died down considerably with one exception. At least four fire engines were parked atop a vast winding driveway fighting flames that had engulfed majestic green trees about 100 yards behind a sprawling estate. As the fire crept closer to the house with its residents watching from the front driveway, firefighters moved up the hill using massive hoses and what sounded like chainsaws. As of 7:10 p.m., the flames had disappeared behind the trees and the only thing visible was a massive plume of smoke. A set of about a dozen firefighters walked single file down the house’s driveway, into their vehicles and drove back onto the main road. The fire Friday scorched the rugged terrain between Pacific Coast Highway and the 101 Freeway. More than 1,000 firefighters were battling the blaze, with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft flying through thick smoke to drop water and flame retardant. Residents in Hidden Valley and off Portrero Road have been ordered to evacuate. Evacuations in Sycamore Canyon, Deer Canyon and Yerba Buena remained in effect, Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Bill Nash said. –LA Times
This entry was posted in Blizzard, Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Electric power disruption & grid failure, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Infrastructure collapse, Record Cold temperatures, Record snowfall, Time - Event Acceleration, Wildfires. Bookmark the permalink.

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