Three major fires in northern and southern California have set ablaze thousands of acres prompting evacuation orders for more than 250,000 people.
Since Thursday, Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire have burned a combined total of more than 87,000 acres in western Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County. According to Cal Fire, Woolsey Fire is only 10 percent contained and the Hill Fire is at 70 percent containment.
Journalism junior Jake Davis got word from his family Thursday night that they were evacuating his house in Agoura Hills because of the fire.
“I kind of felt like it wasn’t even happening. I went through the motions and called my parents to check in and they’re okay, but it still hasn’t even registered with me,” Davis said. “It’s so surreal and doesn’t really hit you until it’s actually happening in your neighborhood.”
Davis’s family relocated to his uncle’s house in Marina del Rey temporarily — they moved safely back home to Agoura Hills on Sunday.
“Last time I checked my house was still there, but there were a few in my neighborhood that went down. I think the not knowing was the worst part,” Davis said.
According to Cal Fire, Camp Fire, located in Butte County, has burned 109,000 acres and is only 25 percent contained. CBS News reported a devastating 23 fatalities confirmed as a result of the fire, as well as 115 people reported missing. The flames have destroyed 6,453 residences and is still tearing through the area.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) November 11, 2018
Business administration freshman Liam Tveit’s aunt lost her home in Paradise, California to Camp Fire.
“It’s tough to see family lose everything they own to a fire because it’s one of those things in life that seems like it only happens to other people,” Tveit said. “At the end of the day I am thankful that my family and the majority of families affected are safe because you can rebuild a house, but you can’t rebuild a life.”
PG&E Meteorologist John Lindsey said strong Santa Ana winds in Southern California are bringing the smoke up to San Luis Obispo while northeast winds are blowing the smoke from northern California towards the coast. This smoke is then brought down into San Luis Obispo by north westerly winds.
“There is a lot of smoke up in the middle part of the atmosphere, so it blocks out the sun,” Lindsey said. “But since the smoke is higher up in the atmosphere it hasn’t really diminished the air quality here in [San Luis Obispo] unlike up in the Bay Area and down in Southern California.”
Firefighters are still battling these fires that are continuing to burn through California’s hills and canyons.
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) November 13, 2018
“When the smoke will clear in [San Luis Obispo] is more of question for when the fires get put out,” Lindsey said. “I mean if the fires keep burning, then they’ll keep pumping smoke into the atmosphere.”