The Camp Fire Is Exploding in Northern California

Smoke from the Camp Fire.
GIF: Erik Gledhill via Storyful

An incredibly dangerous wildfire has exploded to life in Northern California. The Camp Fire has spurred numerous evacuations in Butte County as it races across the landscape.

The fire was first reported at 6:30 a.m. PT, and grew to at least 5,000 acres in three hours. California’s state fire agency reported the fire is “very dynamic” and that ‘[s]trong winds are moving the fire quickly.” The official estimate of acreage burned is almost certainly on the low end, as the fire is spreading at an astonishing 80 acres per minute. Smoke from the blaze is already descending on the Bay Area some 150 miles away.

In addition to powerful winds, humidity is in the single digits, drying out vegetation. That has created what Redding TV meteorologist Rob Elvington called “unprecedented” conditions for this time of year, providing ample fuel for the Camp Fire to run wild.

All this has led to a growing list of evacuations. Video depicting the evacuation shows traffic moving in a contraflow pattern, with cars flowing in one direction on both sides of the a highway to get people out of harm’s way and stalled traffic amidst a hellscape of smoke and flames.

Paradise, a town of 27,000, sits directly in the Camp Fire’s path. Its rapid growth and early-morning arrival means that residents didn’t have much time to leave or firefighters time to prepare, leaving them to play a game of catchup against an extremely active fire. And the gridlock coupled with the rapidly-growing fire has reportedly led some to abandon their vehicles and shelter in place. Meanwhile firefighters operating bulldozers have been authorized to push cars off the road to clear a path and try to beat back the flames. In short, this is a chaotic nightmare situation.

Unfortunately it’s also one that has become all too familiar to Californians in recent years. The largest fire in state history set Southern California ablaze in 2017. It held the record for less than a year, though, as the Ranch Fire took its place in the record books this year. California has had four of its top 10 most destructive fires burn in the past two years, the most recent being the Carr Fire that destroyed entire neighborhoods in Redding, a city of 90,000 in the northern part of the state.

Climate change coupled with growing number of people living where the forest meets the city has increased the risk of these types of fires. And humans are setting more blazes than ever. It’s enough to make one wonder how much longer we can keep building in harm’s way.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • New NASA Mission Will Measure the Mysterious Glow of Earth’s Plants

    Honeysuckles experiencing ultraviolet-induced fluorescence.Photo: Craig Burrows.

  • Striking Photos Capture the Unnatural Transformation of the Amazon Rainforest

    There was this moment last year.

  • NYC Just Passed a World-First Law to Tackle Its Biggest Source of Climate Pollution

    Photo: Getty “Decarbonize the buildings” may.

  • A Fight Is Brewing Over New York City’s Big New Pipeline Project

    A gas pipeline may soon run.

  • Microsoft Pats Itself on Back For Some Pretty Weak Climate Pledges

    Photo: AP On Tuesday, Microsoft announced.

  • Momentum Builds for Green New Deal Plans as Maine’s Bill Gets a Powerful Endorsement

    Photo: AP State-level Green New Deal.

  • There’s Microplastic Blowing in the Wind, Study Suggests

    A view of the marvelous Pyrenees.

  • Annual Competition to Guess When Alaskan River Will Thaw Ends on Earliest Date Since 1917

    The Nenana Ice Classic Tripod, seen.

  • 6,000 Amazon Employees Sign Climate Change Letter

    Photo: David Ryder (Getty) On Monday,.

  • Washington State Commits to Running Entirely on Clean Energy by 2045

    Photo: AP If you’re depressed by.

  • American Museum of Natural History Event Honoring Brazil’s Rainforest-Hating President Sparks Uproar

    Photo: AP A museum dedicated to.

  • Turns Out, California’s Famous Winter Fog Was Mostly Thanks to Air Pollution

    The fog was responsible for the.

  • How a Single Sentence in a Colorado Bill Could Pump the Brakes on the Fracking Boom

    Photo: Getty Boulder County Commissioner Elise.

  • Tribal Nation Still Reeling From Last Month’s Bomb Cyclone Faces More Extreme Weather

    This is how flooding in March.

  • London’s New ‘Ultra-Low Emissions Zone’ Will Banish Old, Polluting Cars

    These signs let drivers know they’re.

  • Singapore Officials Set Horrifying Record, Busting 14-Ton Shipment of Smuggled Pangolin Scales

    Two pangolins at a zoo in.

  • Flooded Parts of the Midwest Could Be Hit With Major Snow This Week

    I’m sorry.GIF: Earth Wind Map I.

  • Rhino Poacher in South Africa Reportedly Killed By Elephant, Then Eaten By Lions

    Rhinos grazing on the edge of.

  • Meet the Man Keeping the Last Two Northern White Rhinos on Earth Alive

    DERBY, ENGLAND—James Mwenda has a front.

  • Corn Pollution Kills Thousands of Americans a Year, Study Finds

    Photo: AP Midwestern states better buckle.

  • Yankees Suck Slightly Less After Joining the Paris Climate Agreement

    See all those lights? They require.

  • The US Hasn’t Been This Wet in Years

    Photo: AP The U.S. drought map.

  • Watch Five Cheetahs Take Down a Wildebeest in a Heart-Pounding Exclusive Clip From Our Planet

    The premise of Our Planet, Netflix’s.

  • Climate Change Is Coming for Your Tuna

    Photo: Getty Climate change seems to.

  • Dick-Shaped, Wood-Munching Clams Are More Diverse Than We Thought, Study Finds

    Spiniapex, a newly-described wood-boring clam, removed.

  • Trump’s ‘Unprecedented’ Plan to Restart the Keystone XL Pipeline May Be Illegal

    This fucking guy.Photo: Getty President Donald.

  • America’s Government Scientists Are Eyeing a Future in Politics

    EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.Photo: Getty.

  • Judge Rules Trump Plans to Open Up Swathes of Arctic, Atlantic Oceans for Drilling Illegal

    Royal Dutch Shell PLC icebreaker Fennica,.

  • The Best Deals on the Web For March 30, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • The 10 Best Deals of March 29, 2019

    Best Deals of the DayThe best.

  • UK Labour Party Declares National Climate Emergency in Likely Political First

    Photo: Getty UK politics is more.

  • Monsanto Loses Roundup Cancer Trial to the Tune of $80 Million

    Roundup on sale in San Francisco.