SANTA BARBARA, Calif .– Destructive California wildfires caused by high winds damaged two mobile home parks, destroyed trailers and one person was burned, officials said.
Monday’s fires also toppled trees, raised blinding dust clouds and forced a utility to cut power to thousands of customers in a bid to prevent wildfires.
Although the winds calmed down on Tuesday, around 30 structures were destroyed Monday afternoon when wind-induced flames roared through the Rancho Marina RV park in Sacramento County, the deputy chief said. River Delta Fire District, Hugh Henderson, on ABC10-TV. No injuries were reported and the cause remains under investigation.
In San Joaquin County, a man was burnt and about five mobile homes were damaged by the flames that swept through Islander Mobile Home Park, Lathrop-Manteca Fire Chief Josh Capper told Fox40-TV.
On the south coast of Santa Barbara County, the Alisal fire had burned more than 9 square miles on Tuesday morning and went completely uncontained.
High winds swept through California on Tuesday after cutting down trees, stoking forest fires and cutting power to about 21,000 customers in the northern and central regions.
Red flag warnings of dangerous fire conditions continued in mountains, valleys, canyons and deserts due to the dry and windy weather. Winds of 25 mph with gusts up to 70 mph were expected in the early evening Tuesday.
Pacific Gas & Electric has cut power to approximately 21,000 customers in 20 counties in central and northern California to reduce the risk that power lines could be knocked down, causing wildfires.
At least half a dozen fires broke out across the state on Monday. A rapid bushfire in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County reached nearly 2,000 acres and forced evacuations Monday night, firefighters said.
The Alisal fire started near Lake Alisal in California. About 200 firefighters and air units were called to the scene of the blaze, officials from the Los Padres National Forest said.
Monday at 8 p.m., the fire was considered to be 0% contained. The blaze threatened up to 100 structures, including ranches and homes, firefighters said.
An evacuation order has been ordered by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office for the Arroyo Hondo Canyon and Refugio Canyon areas west of Goleta following the wildfire, county officials say .
On Monday afternoon, the fire was burning near the Tajiguas landfill with northwest winds at 30-35 mph. No cause of the blaze was known until 6 p.m., said Andrew Madsen, spokesperson for national forests.
The fire moves east towards Goleta through brush and vegetation and is blown downhill, Madsen. He described the area as a ranch.
At some point, the fire is expected to reach the burn scar from the 2015 Sherpa Fire, he noted.
“It’s going to run out of ready-to-burn fuel, and it’s always a good place to try to go straight,” Madsen said.
The area currently on fire has not caught fire since around 1955, he added.
Train traffic in the corridor was also interrupted. The Pacific Surfliner 777 was held in Santa Barbara because of the fire, according to Amtrak.
On the central coast, a tree fell on power lines at Hearst San Simeon State Park, causing a small fire in the brush, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted. And high winds toppled a tree, destroying three parked cars and damaging a home in the coastal town of El Granada, San Mateo County, Cal Fire said. However, no injuries were reported.
Windy weather is a nightmare for firefighters in a state where heat waves and historic drought linked to climate change have dried up forests and brush. The fires that started in late summer are still burning after destroying hundreds of homes.
In the Sierra Nevada, the KNP complex fires may have burned hundreds of giant sequoias in the groves of Sequoia National Park and were only 30% contained. On Monday, a firefighter with a hand crew working on the blaze was struck by a rolling boulder. The firefighter was airlifted to a hospital and is in stable condition, firefighters said.
Contribution: The Associated Press
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