SANTA BARBARA, California – A devastating California wildfire has damaged two mobile home parks, destroyed some trailers and burned one person, officials say.
Monday’s fire also shattered trees, blinded dust clouds and forced thousands of customers to cut off electricity in an effort to contain the blaze.
Although the wind was easing on Tuesday, about 30 structures were destroyed Monday afternoon when wind-powered flames roared through Rancho Marina RV Park in Sacramento County, River Delta Fire District Deputy Chief Hugh Henderson told ABC 10-TV. No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation.
In San Joaquin County, a man was burned and about five mobile homes were damaged in a fire in Islander Mobile Home Park, Lathrop-Monteca Fire Chief Josh Caper told Fox 40-TV.
On the south Santa Barbara County coast, the Alisal Fire burned more than 9 square miles by Tuesday morning and was completely out of control.
Stormy winds swept across California on Tuesday after trees, wildfires and power outages in about 21,000 customers in the northern and central regions.
The red flag warning of dangerous fire conditions continues in the mountains, valleys, canyons and deserts due to dry, windy weather. By Tuesday evening, 25 mph winds were expected, with gusts of up to 10 mph.
Pacific Gas and Electric cut off power to about 21,000 customers in 20 central and northern California counties to reduce the risk of power outages and fires.
At least half a dozen fires broke out across the state on Monday. A fast-moving brush fire in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County has reached nearly 2,000 acres and has been forcibly evicted by Monday night, fire officials said.
The Alisal Fire, as it is called, started near Alisal Lake in California. Officials at the Los Padres National Forest said about 200 firefighters and the air force had been called in to put out the blaze.
By 8 p.m., the fire was considered 0% controlled. About 100 structures, including farms and homes, were threatened by the fire, fire officials said.
According to county officials, the Sonta Barbara Sheriff’s Office ordered a evacuation for the Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon areas west of Goletta as a result of the fire.
By Monday afternoon, the fire was burning with wind speed 30-35 miles northwest towards the Tajiguas landfill. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, said National Forest Spokesman Andrew Madsen.
Through the brushes and plants the fire is advancing towards Goletar to the east and Madsen is descending in the gusts of wind. He described the area as Ranchland.
At some point, the fires from the 2015 Sherpa Fire are expected to reach the spot, he noted.
“It’s running out of fuel ready to burn, and it’s a good place to go directly into it,” Madsen said.
He added that there has been no fire in the burning area since about 1955.
Train movement through the corridor has also been stopped. According to Amtrak, the Pacific Surfliner 777 was stranded in Santa Barbara due to the fire.
On the Central Coast, a tree in Hurst San Simeon State Park fell into a power line that ignited a small fire with a brush, the California Department of Forests and Fire Protection tweeted. And strong winds tore down a tree, destroyed three parked cars and damaged a house in the coastal town of El Granada in San Mateo County, Calfire said. However, no casualties were reported.
Windy weather is a nightmare for firefighters where heat waves and climate in a state bordered by historic drought climate change have left forests and brush tinder-dried. The fire, which started in late summer, is still burning after destroying hundreds of homes.
In the Sierra Nevada, a fire at the so-called KNP complex could burn hundreds of giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park, and that was only 30%. On Monday, a firefighter was working on the fire with hand crews on a rolling stone. The firefighter was airlifted to hospital and his condition was stable, fire officials said.
Contributed by: Associated Press
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