California News

Monday, August 3, 2020

With 5% containment, Apple Fire keeps burning north of Beaumont after scorching 32 square miles

The massive Apple Fire continued to burn in the San Bernardino Mountains north of Beaumont Sunday night after scorching about 32 square miles. Sky5 was overhead just after 11 p.m. as flames tore through the canyons above Banning, with the wildfire appearing to head toward the Morongo Basin. More than 2,200 firefighters continue to battle the growing wildfire, which is 5% contained and has scorched 20,516 acres—or about 32 square miles—as of Sunday night, according to Cal Fire. Authorities have not reported any injuries. Evacuation orders and warnings are still in effect, according to the Riverside County Fire Department‘s incident page. Riverside County residents can type their address on the county website to see if they’re affected by any orders. They can also sign up for alerts on RivCo Ready website. The Oak Glen community of San Bernardino County was also ordered to evacuate on Saturday, and authorities said residents in that county should keep an eye on announcements from the Sheriff’s Department.
KTXL-TV Fox 40 Sacramento

Related: Several San Diego County fire departments help fight growing Apple Fire

The Apple Fire in Riverside County has almost doubled in the last day. As of 5:00 p.m. Sunday, it has grown to 20,516 acres, with 0% containment. Mandatory evacuations are in place for more than 7,000 people. Authorities believe this may have been caused by arson. This weekend, multiple San Diego fire agencies are helping fight the Apple Fire. Experts say our local agencies are equipped to support the fight in Riverside and any incidents at home. The conditions are almost too perfect for the raging Apple Fire. "Fuel, weather, and topography - All three of those things come together in that part of the state," CAL FIRE San Diego Fire Captain, Issac Sanchez said. The Apple Fire is burning just north of the city of Beaumont in Riverside County. Sanchez says the flames are relentless, and crews on the ground need all the help they can get.
KGTV-TV ABC 10 San Diego

Firefighters Put Out Flames of 200-Acre Post Fire in Gorman

County firefighters stopped the forward progress of a brushfire near the northbound 5 Freeway in Gorman Sunday night that charred an estimated 200 acres and was 15% contained. Smoke could be seen for several miles and active flames were burning alongside the freeway. The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert in Castaic at 8:09 p.m. The northbound 5 was closed at Smokey Bear Road and the transition road between westbound state Route 138 and northbound 5 was also shut down, the CHP said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or burning structures. This year's fire season has already seen above normal activity. A dry winter, followed by a hot spring created favorable conditions for fires and rapid spread, according to The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook issued in July. In August and September, above normal temperatures along with drought conditions are expected to lead to an expansion of wildfires in parts of California, the report said.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

Fighting a pandemic and wildfires; the differences firefighters and evacuees are now experiencing

The COVID-19 pandemic brought along several challenges to people around the world, both medically and financially. As fire season is now in full swing in Southern California firefighters and evacuees are facing their own new challenges. Could the COVID-19 precautions be here to stay? As the Apple Fire continues to spread near Cherry Valley, firefighters throughout Southern California and even as far as Arizona traveled to Riverside Valley to help. At the command post firefighters can be seen wearing face coverings, utilizing the hand sanitizing stations and trying to physically distance themselves from others – even though at time while fighting fires that may seem impossible.
KTTV-TV MyFox 11 Los Angeles

Forward progress of Castaic Fire stopped at 170 acres

Firefighters have stopped forward progress of the 170-acre fire burning along a cove at Lake Castaic Saturday evening. "A rapid and aggressive attack by the Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire have stopped the forward rate of spread holding the fire at about 170 acres," said Incident Commander Oscar Vargas. All aircraft were released and crews were expected to remain at the fire scene overnight to build lines of cleared vegetation and look for hotspots to put out, the USFS said. The blaze was reported by lifeguards just after 4 p.m. as a 1/4-acre brush fire, which quickly spread to 20 acres, said Los Angeles County Fire Department officials. Just after 5 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service reported the fire had blackened 150 acres of forest service land, spreading through dry brush with high temperatures and low humidity.
KTTV-TV MyFox 11 Los Angeles

Coronavirus map, graphs display number of cases, deaths in California

We're tracking the curve of coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related deaths that have occurred in California. The data shows the total number of COVID-19 cases along with the number of COVID-19 cases per day. In addition, it includes the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 complications along with the number of deaths from coronavirus occurring daily. The coronavirus case numbers and death toll are updated daily. More than 4.6 million cases of COVID-19 and 154,000 deaths have been reported in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Congress is still working to pass another relief bill as we enter August. All sides predict a long slog ahead despite the lapse of a $600-per-week supplemental COVID-19 jobless benefit, and the call of lawmakers' cherished August recess. Several more days of talks are expected, if not more.
KCRA-TV NBC 3 Sacramento

Friday, July 31, 2020

Dam Fire 40% contained after charring 217 acres above Azusa; battle continues amid heat wave

Despite blazing temperatures and difficult terrain, firefighters have increased containment on the Dam Fire which has burned more than 200 acres in the mountains north of Azusa, officials said Friday. The wildfire erupted Thursday afternoon around 1:45 p.m. in the 9500 block of North San Gabriel Canyon Road, near Morris Dam in the Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. As of Friday morning, the Dam Fire had burned 217 acres and was 40% contained. Firefighters are continuing to aggressively work on gaining the upper hand despite sweltering temperatures. “The combination of hot temperatures, low relative humidities, locally gusty winds, and drying fuels will bring elevated fire weather conditions to the Dam Fire burn area today,” officials said on the wildfire’s InciWeb page.
KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

2 men plead guilty to falsely claiming their homes were destroyed in 2018’s Camp Fire

Two people plead guilty for falsely claiming they lost their homes in the 2018 Camp Fire, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California announced Thursday in a press release. Daniel Connelly, 55, and Patrick Prigmore, 54, both plead guilty in separate court cases that they filed for Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] benefits while lying that their homes were in Paradise, Calif. The Camp Fire killed 84 people and nearly wiped out the city of Paradise. According to court documents, Connelly filed an application on Jan. 16, 2019, for FEMA benefits that his home was in Paradise, but he moved out months before the fire after his bank began the process to evict him. According to the press release, the home was for sale leading up to the Camp Fire. Connely received $2,663 in FEMA aid.
KXTV ABC 10 Sacramento

Review: Ron Howard’s ‘Rebuilding Paradise’ is a stirring portrait of a town devastated by the Camp fire

The sound of wind is rarely as sinister as it is at the beginning of “Rebuilding Paradise,” Ron Howard’s harrowing and heartrending new documentary. The loud, 40-mph gusts we hear are a grim omen, and they soon merge with other noises — anxious radio chatter, screaming sirens, the crackle of flames, the pop-pop of exploding tires — to form a chorus of fast-mounting dread. Through it all we hear a succession of human voices, trying to remain steady but finally abandoning any pretense of calm: “Please, we need your help, Lord,” a woman prays. “I’m scared,” another sobs. “I’m scared.” You will share her fear. These opening moments return us to Nov. 8, 2018, the day the Camp fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history, destroyed the Butte County town of Paradise. The on-the-ground footage we see is as awful as what we hear: As flames lick at driveways and engulf crumbling buildings, as embers rain down on fleeing vehicles, we seem trapped in a conflagration so mighty and all-consuming that the entire world has turned black and orange.
Los Angeles Times - Metered Site

Fire Chief Rocha to Retire from Alameda Fire Department

After six years at the helm of the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD), Fire Chief David Rocha is ticking down his final days with the agency. “When I informed the board in October that I planned on retiring, I certainly didn’t expect the transition to be impacted by a pandemic or all of the social-justice issues going on right now,” Rocha said. In retirement, Rocha plans on enjoying time with his family, while keeping his eye out for future opportunities. “Right now, I’m planning on taking a break for a little bit of time,” he said. When Rocha informed the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the county administrator of his decision, he was asked to remain in his role until his successor was identified. Now that a new chief has been named, Rocha’s last day with the ACFD will be Aug. 15. The board recently announced that Willie McDonald will take over as fire chief two days later. McDonald joins ACFD from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, where he has served as fire chief for the last seven years.
Livermore Independent

1 Injured In San Francisco Apartment Building Fire

One person was rescued and taken to the hospital early Friday as a 2-alarm fire raced through a 3-story apartment building near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. San Francisco fire officials said crews were dispatched to reports of a blaze in the 2200 block of Powell St at around 2 a.m. Arriving firefighters found a three-story building ablaze. The response was quickly elevated to a second alarm. A resident and a dog were rescued. The fire victim was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries. Their condition was not immediately known. Flames and smoke soared out the building near Fisherman’s Wharf and power lines were downed by the fire. The blaze was contained by 3:18 a.m. Fire investigators will determine the cause of the blaze.
KPIX-TV CBS 5 San Francisco

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