California wildfire explodes in size, keeps on growing
Catastrophic wildfires continue to ravage California, as one blaze nearly doubled in size over the last three days, making it the largest in the state's history.
Iran press/ Amercia : Inside the state’s emergency command center here, the numbers on a large screen show the scope and reach of California’s record-setting wildfire season glowing in red, blue and yellow: nearly 600,000 acres burned. More than 13,000 firefighters battling blazes. More than 2,300 members of the National Guard pulled into the fight.
The numbers, though, do not begin to tell the story of the challenge and complexity of the firefighting effort, with temperatures still soaring. Fires are moving faster than anyone has ever seen, and barriers that in years past contained fires — bulldozer lines, highways, rivers — are now no match. By midday Tuesday the numbers had already climbed, as more acres burned and more personnel had been rushed to the fires.
All of this comes as California is fighting approximately 17 large fires simultaneously, including the largest in the state’s recorded history. The fire season that has already scorched nearly three times the number of acres over the same period last year has tested the state’s firefighting resources like never before.
“It’s unprecedented to have so many sustained demands for so many resources over such a short amount of time,” said Jonathan Cox, a battalion chief and spokesman with Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency.
The firefighting and recovery efforts — from managing air quality to setting up emergency shelters, to helping residents return home — are led at the highest levels from the command center in Mather, on the outskirts of Sacramento.
California now has more firefighters deployed than at any other time in the state’s history. Several dozen firefighters from Australia and New Zealand had been diverted south from the devastating Carr Fire to help with the Mendocino Fire. A battalion of infantry soldiers from the United States Army was being dispatched. And with California’s own resources tapped out, 17 states have rushed equipment and firefighters to aid the effort.