Firefighters are battling two large wildfires in Southern California and several more in northern California. The largest is a 3,000-acre, wind-whipped wildfire in Riverside County. The fire has taken one home and many had to evacuate the area. A second brush fire has grown to 2,000 acres in Ventura County. More than two hundred firefighters were dispatched to the second location and that fire continues to spread. Dos Vientos area residents received evacuations orders at about 9:45 a.m. local time, according to a May 2 NBC News article. Several more residents have been evacuated and then allowed to return to their homes. A May 2 Oregon Live report says that California State University at Channel Islands was among the areas that were evacuated.
Fires in Southern California
The smaller fire started at about 6:30 a.m. PST on Thursday and is well over a thousand acres. This fire is is about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles near the town of Camarillo.
The larger fire is called the Summit Fire. It started at about 12:38 p.m. local time on Wednesday and is about 40 percent contained. This fire is in mostly undeveloped sections of Riverside County and is about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.
A third fire is a grass fire that broke out in Jurupa Valley, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. this fire has burned four homes. A fourth fire is in the San Bernadino mountains north of Banning. That fire took one home.
Fires in Northern California
The largest northern California fire is the 1,700 acre Panther Fire. It burns north of Butte Meadows with zero percent containment. The fire is in a remote area of brush and timber, so no homes are threatened.
Sonoma, Glenn and Butte counties also have fires, including the Yellow Fire and the Cedar fire. If high winds do not complicate matters, these fires could be quickly contained.
The major threat is gusty winds in the north state and Santa Ana winds in the south state. The winds are expected to continue until the weekend with the lowest wind speeds at 25 to 30 miles per hour. The highest expected wind gusts could reach 60 to 70 miles per hour.
Residents in high fire danger zones should prepare themselves since the California drought created many areas of bone-dry brush and timber. High winds create fast moving and hard to anticipate fires, especially in remote and mountainous areas. Dry conditions and a very warm Spring will cause an extended fire season that could continue until late Fall. All California residents and tourists can visit the CAL FIRE website for statewide fire maps and more information.