California is so hot and dry that not even soaking rain can ease fall fire peril
Californians are being warned to stay off the roads in the aftermath of recent wildfires that have charred so much of the state they have shut down some roads. But the public is often slow to heed the warnings.
When asked if he was going to let wildfires burn, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said, “I’d let it burn.”
Pimlott, who is in the process of hiring his first chief, said fire risk is more severe farther north. “This doesn’t happen here in Southern California,” he said.
More than 2,200 firefighters were working to bring the blaze under control.
The fire remains 30% contained, with only small pockets of flame remaining as of Wednesday afternoon. But the cause has been ruled “suspicious,” as Cal Fire has been criticized for its “un-coordinated” response to the fire.
While the cause of the wildfires remains unknown, the damage is extensive. Authorities say they have been battling 13 separate wildfires in the last week.
Nearly 50,000 people are being evacuated from the fire-ravaged Malibu and neighboring areas in and around Los Angeles, a fire official said.
More evacuations are due to take place Sunday as the Santa Rosa fire approached the city. The fire has not yet reached that barrier but is expected to.
KATZ CORNER — California is suffering a devastating drought, and the hot, high-elevation sun has caused many trees to burn.
The governor, Jerry Brown, ordered the state on Tuesday to evacuate about 7,000 people who live near the southern edge of the Los Angeles National Forest, which includes the fire-ravaged Malibu area.
“I think we’re at the end of the line,” said Ken Pimlott, the embattled Los Angeles County fire chief.
Authorities have confirmed that at least 50 people have died in the fires.
A few hours later, the fire that has burned south of Los