Firefighters Still Battling California Flames As 14 Fires Burn Throughout State (Video)
Firefighters continue to battle raging fires throughout the state of California, spanning from Sonoma County to Los Angeles.
On Friday morning, newly developed fire, The Maria Fire, swept over 8,000 acres, bringing the amount of land burned to 101,000 acres burned in the massive state-wide blaze, according to CBS. Engulfing Ventura County, where the Easy Fire also formed this week, the outlet said that small agricultural communities known for their citrus orchards and avocado farms were at risk on Thursday night.
There are 14 active fires throughout the state, CNN reported on Friday.
Early Thursday morning, the fire — now known as the Hillside Fire — had spread to San Bernandino, a city east of Los Angeles, engulfing 200 acres in its path, according to The Los Angeles Times. As has been the issue with the Kincade Fire, the Getty Fire, and the Easy Fire, the strong winds continue to fan the flames.
The Easy Fire engulfed 1,800 acres in Ventura County by Friday and is at 60 percent containment, according to CNN. The flames are extremely close to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley where the former president and his wife are buried. However, the flames were unexpectedly staved off by a herd of goats who eat the brush surrounding the building every year, a staff member of the library told USA Today.
Firefighters in Ventura — which is north of Los Angeles — were battling strong winds on Wednesday, much like those working to contain the Getty Fire where there are hurricane-force winds of up to 70 miles per hour. By Wednesday evening the Getty Fire had been 30 percent contained with most evacuation orders and warnings lifted. Authorities still fear the Santa Ana Winds will keep the flames going, though, according to a Los Angeles ABC affiliate.
The fire was likely caused by a downed tree branch, which struck power lines that ignited the fire.
The Los Angeles Fire Department explained, “This errant tree branch caused the sparking and arcing of the powerlines, igniting nearby brush. All powerlines on the pole remained intact.”
However, the actual flames aren’t the only concern in Los Angeles as the air quality continues to deteriorate in the surrounding area.
"I have 3-year-old twins with sensitive lungs so school has been canceled a lot, they've had to wear masks, and we've discussed the fact that there are fires far away ... and it changes air quality," Brigitte Kouba Neves, a Los Angeles resident, shared with CNN on how she’s coping.
Neves also wrote in a lengthy Instagram post that she's "ready to say good bye" to her home if necessary.
Fortunately, fire officials have said that they've "turned the corner" on the the Northern California flame, The LA Times reported. The fire — that destroyed at least 86 homes and displaced more than 156,000 people — is 45 percent contained and the air quality is improving.
“We believe that most of the threat is now in our rearview mirror, and we are moving forward here,” said Mark Essick, the Sonoma County sheriff.