Monday, July 10, 2017

Firefighters Battle Wildfires Across the Western U.S. and Canada

[Time] Firefighters on Monday made progress against wildfires burning across numerous states in the hot, dry West.
That included California, where slightly cooler temperatures and diminishing winds helped firefighters as they battled several wildfires that have forced thousands to flee their homes in both ends of the state.
Here's a closer look at the fires burning in the western United States and Canada.
An estimated 4,000 people have evacuated their homes as flames raced through foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Sacramento. The Oroville fire has blackened 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) of grass. It's 35 percent contained.
In Southern California, at least 3,500 people evacuated as two fires raged at separate ends of Santa Barbara County. The largest fire has charred more than 45 square miles (116 square kilometers) of dry brush and is threatening more than 130 rural homes. It's 15 percent contained.
About 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the south, a 17-square-mile (44-square-kilometer) blaze shut down State Route 154 and sent weekend campers scrambling for safety. It's just 5 percent contained.
"The sky sure is brown," said Therese Vannier of Goleta, California, in Santa Barbara County, on Monday. She said falling ash covered vehicles with a white powder. "The ash makes our eyes sting so bad," Vannier said.
"People are walking around covering their faces and wearing masks," said Dana Ross of Goleta.
Firefighters are making progress battling wildfires burning in Colorado. As of Monday, crews have been able to build containment lines around 85 percent of the fire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of people near Breckenridge last week.In northwestern Colorado, a wildfire burning near Dinosaur National Monument is 40 percent contained. Portions of the 20-square-mile (52-square- kilometer) Peekaboo Fire has spread into steep, rocky terrain without a lot of fuel.
In Arizona, rain has helped firefighters working a wildfire in mountains overlooking Tucson while also creating unsafe conditions for the crews.
Fire management officials say monsoon rains "hit the bullseye" Sunday, dropping more than 1 inch of rain in one area of the Santa Catalina Mountains. However, the rain also caused flooding and washed out roads and was accompanied by lightning, forcing firefighters to pause their work.
The fire has burned 42.6 square miles (110.3 square kilometers) of grass, brush and timber since starting June 30. Its cause is under investigation. It is 51 percent contained. Read More