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Home / Tips and Tricks / West Coast Fires: With firefighters hoping to gain a foothold in some fires, others lead to further evacuations

West Coast Fires: With firefighters hoping to gain a foothold in some fires, others lead to further evacuations



Much of the rain will fall over the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, right where Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Department chief Doug Grafe would “ask for it,” he says.

Rain is forecast for parts of Oregon and Washington, but little rainfall is in sight for California. Officials there warned that warm and dry conditions will increase the risk of fire over the weekend.

The state has seen more than 3.4 million acres scorched so far this year, killing 25 people and turning hundreds of homes to embers.

According to the US Forest Service, new evacuations were ordered Thursday in parts of southern California threatened by the Bobcat Fire, which set fire to more than 55,000 acres and is 9% in content.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, it is one of 59 major uncontrolled fires in the western United States.

The three states are blazing together have burned more than 5.8 million acres, say a spokesman and report from the NIFC. At least 34 people have died.

Many are still leaving their homes

California authorities ordered residents to evacuate the Juniper Hills communities Thursday after the Bobcat Fire “grew rapidly”
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“We brought everything together, all of our valuables, things we wanted, paperwork and the like, pictures,” said Peter Trono, who lives in Juniper Hills, to the CNN subsidiary KCAL.
The couple who died in the California fire were ready to evacuate, but after

“I hope my neighbors all get out and are all safe,” he said. “And I just pray we go back to a house and if we don’t, it’s just stuff, isn’t it?”

Similar scenes have played out across the state in recent weeks as violent flames drove residents from their homes.

California Governor Gavin Newsom says climate change is to blame.

“The basic facts cannot be denied,” said the governor. “The trend lines are not going in the right direction.”

Since the beginning of the year, California has seen nearly 7,900 forest fires, according to CAL Fire. More than 6,200 buildings across the state were damaged or destroyed.

In Riverside County, a fire that began Thursday has already grown to 1,200 acres and 0% contained. A community near the Snow Creek Fire was ordered to evacuate Thursday afternoon, CNN subsidiary KTLA reported.

New danger looms

In Oregon, Senator Jeff Merkley said the investigation into the damage looked like “World War II floor hit by incendiary bombs and thousands of homes destroyed and apartment buildings destroyed”.

“A lot of them are apartment buildings and mobile home parks, manufactured residential parks, so a lot of families who had very modest apartments are the most affordable apartments, the apartments are gone. We had business districts burned down. It’s overwhelming.”

The fires in the west are unprecedented.  They're also just a preview of what climate change has in store for you

The destroyed soil can give way to another danger: mudslides.

“Recently scorched soil has a better chance of erosion / mudslides,” said the National Weather Service in Pendleton, Oregon. “Know when you are related to them.”

Mudslides can occur when scorched soil, lacking the vegetation that stabilizes the soil, grows heavily with rainwater and, unable to hold its weight, flows down a slope, collecting dirt and speed in the process.

“They can flow quickly and be noticed at avalanche speeds with little or no warning – faster than you can run,” said Clackamas County’s emergency officers, according to CNN subsidiary KATU.

CNN’s Joe Sutton and Rob Shackelford contributed to this report.




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