Status: October 27, 2020 8:50 a.m.
The forest fire season in the US state of California is not over yet. At the beginning it was mainly the north that was affected, but a major fire has now broken out in the south. Almost 100,000 people had to leave their homes.
Extreme drought still prevails in the western United States. Driven by strong winds, two forest fires are spreading rapidly in southern California. Almost 100,000 people had to leave their homes.
About 500 emergency services are fighting the so-called Silverado fire about 70 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles. Two of them suffered severe burns, according to the Cal Fire agency. The cause of the fire near Irvine in Orange County is still unknown. The fire has already destroyed an area of almost 30 square kilometers.
Warning of strong winds
To the north of it, around 200 firefighters were on duty against the smaller Blue Ridge fire. The authorities warned of strong Santa Ana winds, which blow from the east, especially in autumn.
Many parts of California are currently under high fire hazard “red flag” warnings. In the north of the state, the utility company PG&E had switched off the electricity as a precaution in particularly endangered areas. Strong gusts of wind can damage power poles and lines and cause sparks. This had caused fires repeatedly in the past. On Monday evening, around 250,000 customers were without electricity, as a spokeswoman said according to the “San Francisco Chronicle”.
Particularly violent forest fire season
The forest fire season started unusually early and violently this year. There have been big fires on the west coast since mid-August. The Californian fire department counted more than 8,000 fires, currently there are still 22.
Scientists make climate change jointly responsible for this development. According to her, the drought in the vegetation is increasing significantly due to global warming, which in turn favors the rapid spread of the flames.