One dead as California wildfires rage throughout state

Saul Bowman
July 9, 2018

Brady says the fire is being fueled by hot weather and extreme winds.

Firefighters have been working in tough conditions, enduring triple-digit temperatures and strong winds that have increased the fire threat.

As California's fire season enters full swing, Cal Fire San Luis Obispo has sent out almost 100 responders to assist with wildfires across the state, including at the Holiday Fire in Goleta, in neighboring Santa Barbara County.

Several wildfires are scorching the western United States and forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes, with one person killed in a blaze near California's border with Oregon.

In southern Colorado's Costilla and Huerfano counties, firefighters have encircled about 45 percent of a 167-square-mile (433-square-kilometer) fire that destroyed more than 130 homes.

"There very likely would have been fatalities last night had those evacuations not occurred", Peterson said. Some large homes were lost in the fire, but officials were still trying to get an accurate tally.

Eric Durtschi stood outside his destroyed house, where a burned-out vehicle stood in the driveway and kids' bicycles were strewn about.

Durtschi, his wife and their six children moved into the house just two weeks ago.

Neighbors' houses next door and across the street were safe, but his next-door neighbor's home also burned.

"Lock and secure all homes, other buildings, and vehicles left behind to the extent possible and monitor updates from local authorities", the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department said.


Another fire on the Camp Pendleton Marine base prompted the evacuation of 750 homes. Showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon dropped.1 inches of rain in El Jebel and lighter amounts of the southeastern portion of the fire.

California's record heat There were four record highs set in Southern California on Friday, including Riverside (118 degrees), Van Nuys Airport (117 degrees), Burbank Airport (114 degrees) and University of California-Los Angeles (111 degrees). There was little relief overnight.

"Temperatures at 8 a.m. were ridiculously over 100 degrees" in foothills near Forest Falls and many inland valleys, the National Weather Service said. It has destroyed 15 structures, damaged three and threatened 96.

A fire official says a person has died in a fast-moving blaze near the California-Oregon border. The Spring Fire in Costilla and Huerfano counties was reported at 106,985 acres Saturday morning. Ten structures were counted destroyed but damage assessments were continuing.

"After this Fourth of July weekend, we have been going hard and long", said Charley Burns, fire unit manager for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Scott McLean, deputy chief of Cal Fire, told CNN that residents need to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

The blaze consumed an estimated 20 structures, including homes and other types of buildings. Commanders hope for one-third containment late Sunday.

The fire, which started Saturday east of Lake Berryessa, has caused no injuries or deaths, but destroyed nine structures.

Authorities say thunderstorms moving through the area Saturday generated a potential for gusty and erratic winds that can reach up to 25 miles per hour.

The Weston Pass Fire has burned about 13,000 acres 9 miles southwest of Fairplay, Colorado.

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