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California marked another hideous milestone on Sunday as a record-setting wildfire surpassed 4 million acres this year. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) worked through another hot season to stop the stubborn Glass Fire, forcing the issuance of new evacuation orders.
“I thought 2018 was horrendous.”CalFire Deputy Chief Scott McLean
CalFire Deputy Chief Scott McLean emphasized that there are “no words to describe” the recent wildfire that burned more than 8,200 structures and killed 31 people as of October 5. Officials are currently using unique ways to keep some properties safe from the flames.
CalFire also implied that more than 20,000 firefighters, with some coming from Israel, are working to contain the 23 major wildfires across the state. The 1987 annual statistics from the agency with the highest casualty of 1.67 million acres burned got surpassed with the 2020 record of more than 4 million acres – an area larger than Rhode Island state.
The Glass Fire is one of the 23 major fires burning throughout California that drained 3.6 million acres. It forced new evacuations in Napa County areas around 9:45 a.m. on Sunday and added warnings for some parts of Lake County on the evening of the same day. During the Sunday evening update, officials arrested eight people in the last week due to unlawful entry into evacuation zones.
Meanwhile, California’s fire officials sounded optimistic about the agency’s Sunday morning briefing due to a forecasted cooling this week. Incident commander Billy See also stated that the crews are currently developing plans to get evacuees home and that damage inspection teams are inspecting the area.
“We’re working on a make safe re-entry program. That is the primary goal of all of this.”Billy See
Tom Bird, a CalFire incident meteorologist, said that the conditions would improve as the winds shift to west and southwest, making temperature decrease to the 80s and 70s this week. Moisture levels would also increase as a marine layer moves in to aid firefighting efforts this week, especially at higher elevations, as per the National Weather Services.
CalFire’s fire behavior analyst, Brian Newman, emphasized in a recorded video that the current hot spots were along Highway 29 near the Hennessey Fire burn area that currently helps the firefighters put out fires in other sites. The Hennessey Fire ignited on August 17 due to lightning that forced more than 17,000 people to evacuate, according to the fire officials.