The American West is in the throes of violent fires which resulted in thousands of evacuations in Washington State and hundreds near Los Angeles, where a blaze has reached “historic” dimension.
The State of Emergency, which allows the mobilization of federal resources, has been declared in Montana and the State of Washington.
Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, said at a news conference Saturday that the so-called “La Tuna” fire, which has already swallowed more than 2,000 hectares is “now largest fire by acreage in LA history.”
Garcetti declared a state of emergency locally and called on California governor, Jerry Brown, to do the same
Three structures have been destroyed including two houses.. More than 700 homes had to be evacuated to Los Angeles and several neighboring suburbs including Burbank, from where the flames could be seen on the hills from the highway or from residential areas. The area is close to both Disney and Warner Bros. Studios.
More than 500 firefighters were mobilized to fight the blaze and aircraft were used to release flame retardant products. Hundreds of other firefighters who had been deployed in Houston, Texas, to help rescue operations after Hurricane Harvey, were expected to return to Los Angeles in the coming hours to help.
This fire, which was only controlled at 10%, was declared during the long weekend of the Labor Day, in full heat in the west of the country.
Some access roads to the famous Yosemite Park were closed due to traffic lights and hiking trails. The park site warned visitors that the air was “mediocre and limited visibility”.
Farther north in Washington State, several fires with a total surface area of 6,000 hectares resulted in the evacuation of nearly 4,000 homes.
Weather forecasts continue to anticipate high temperatures across the state for the next seven days which would complicate the task of the fire soldiers.
Massive forest fires have also caused evacuations in Oregon. More than 20 fires were raging in Montana where “near record, wind, relatively low humidity and below-normal rainfall raised the fire risk from” high “to” extreme “, according to the Montana.gov.