First Responders Focus on Containment and Management of New Southern California Fires as Wind Speeds Decrease
Friday, November 1, 2019 as of 9:00 am PST
Responders continue to fight the spread of the fires and contain the risk to surrounding areas, as 14 active wildfires continue to burn in California today. While the devastating Kincade fire dies down, new fires continue to erupt in southern California with no sign of slowing down. The Maria fire ignited late Thursday evening, threatening roughly 2,000 structures. Since the fire began, it has burned approximately 8,300 acres of land and is 0 percent contained. Over 7,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in response to the Maria fire. Reports indicate that the Kincade, Getty, and Riverside fires are 60 percent or more contained. And, the Saddleridge, Hill, Burris, and Copper fires are 90 percent or more containted. The new Maria fire grew last night despite the calmer weather conditions. The forecast shows winds continuing to decrease into the weekend, with average wind speeds of 25 – 30 miles an hour. Dry conditions are expected throughout the weekend and into next week, sustaining the risk of new fires.
Ongoing power outages impact residents and businesses across California. With new fires burning in southern California, the utilities company, Southern California Edison, expects to shut off power to approximately 224,000 customers in addition to the 64,000 customers already without power. Power was restored to almost all one million Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers impacted by the power outages that started on October 23, 2019. Northern California residents impacted by the shutdowns can visit PG&E Community Resource Centers to access restrooms, charging stations, air conditioning, and bottled water to those affected by the public safety shutdowns. Due to the number of new fires erupting across California many residents are being evacuated from their homes, more information on evacuations is provided below. Residents of California experiencing or threatened by wildfires and high winds should continue to monitor local news and heed the warnings of local authorities.
CalOES Wildfire Map: Source
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the smoke from a wildfire can irritate your eyes and respiratory system. Children and people living with chronic heart and lung disease are most at risk. Individuals threatened by wildfires should protect themselves from the smoke by staying indoors as much as possible. Residents of California should listen to local authorities, remain safe, and follow evacuation guidance. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation, visit Disaster Discourse for the latest information.
Evacuations and Emergency Declarations
The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has declared a State of Emergency amid the scale and magnitude of fires that are burning throughout California.
Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NHC in decreasing order of severity:
Red Flag Warnings:
- Interior Los Angeles and Ventura County Mountains
- Ventura County
- Interior Valleys
- The Santa Clarita Valley
- Kincade Fire: SEE EVACUATION ZONES
- Easy Fire: SEE EVACUATION ZONES
- Getty Fire: SEE EVACUATION ZONES
- Hill Fire: SEE EVACUATION ZONES
- 46 Fire: SEE EVACUATION ZONES
- Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for Wildfire and how to keep you and your family safe.
- The Los Angeles Times regularly updated tracking of California Wildfires: California Wildfires Map
- The New York Times regularly updated tracking of all major wildfires in California: Major California Wildfires
- Understanding how the Santa Ana winds affect the Getty Fire – a Los Angeles Times piece: Why this Week’s Santa Ana Winds May Be the Strongest of the Season so far
- Video of the Kern County Fire Department’s efforts to contain the Grade Fire