Michael Snyder – July 4, 2018
Firefighters all over the western part of the country are talking about an unprecedented wildfire season, and we are only in early July. It is going to get a lot hotter and a lot drier as we move deeper into the summer, and the wildfires are likely to get a whole lot worse. At this moment, more than 600,000 acres of land are on fire in America. From California to Colorado and from Alaska to Arizona, extremely violent wildfires are raging out of control as firefighters battle relentlessly to save homes and lives. Rain is desperately needed, but right now much of the Southwest is experiencing a historic drought. In fact, things have gotten so bad that some experts are already comparing this drought to the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s. If very high temperatures and extreme drought persist, that is going to continue to create ideal conditions for more wildfires.
Joseph Serna, Laura J. Nelson, Chris Megerian, Sonali Kohli – October 16, 2017
As the death toll rose to 40, firefighters struggled to get the upper hand against several massive wildfires that have ravaged Northern California for almost a week.
The winds that bedeviled firefighters Saturday are expected to die down Sunday, allowing firefighters to go back on the offense after a day of new evacuations. Cooler temperatures are also forecast. So evacuations in Napa city were lifted Sunday.
Officials said Sunday they are making good progress on the Tubbs and Atlas fires, which are both more than 50% contained. Firefighters will concentrate their forces on the Nuns fire, which is 30% contained.
At a Sunday afternoon briefing, Cal Fire Cmdr. Bret Gouvea told reporters that “overall things are feeling optimistic for us — we are very cautious about that.”
It was a different story Saturday, when strong winds kicked up overnight in the central Napa Valley region, causing some fires to spread and triggering evacuations in Sonoma and elsewhere, officials said.