DESPITE firefighters claiming some success in controlling California’s massive wild fire, which has now been burning for more than a week, more than 13,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the danger. Already, 260 square kilometres have been burned and the fire has required 3,000 firefighters to try to control it.
The fire, which is located roughly 160 kilometres north of San Francisco, is raging through an area that includes thousands of homes, holiday cabins and campsites and on Tuesday (August 4) jumped across Highway 20 in several places. It is estimated that about two dozen homes have been lost so far with another 6,900 under threat. Another 10 fires are currently burning throughout California but the one near San Francisco is the largest of them all.
Those fighting the blaze managed to contain around 20 per cent of the fire so far, with the help of some light rainfall, and were able to create a fire break protecting thousands of homes, yet it is expected to continue to threaten the area at least until Monday (August 10).
Challenges remain for residents who manage to evacuate as emergency centres are filling up and motels in the local area are full to capacity.
President Barack Obama has been briefed about the fire with government officials liaising with California Governor Jerry Brown on the matter.