​California Wildfire: 500 Homes Threatened By Wildfire​​

By:
August 10, 2021

California firefighters launched a fleet of seven retardant-dropping airplanes against the state’s latest destructive wildfire on Friday. The wildfire has destroyed 26 homes and threatened more than 500 others in the San Jacinto Mountains.

California Wildfire

Officials say the blaze was 40 percent contained Friday night. The so-called Silver Fire has forced some 1,800 people to flee their homes and injured six people, including one civilian with serious burns. The fire had grown by 3,500 acres to 27 square miles by late Friday afternoon, but it was showing little more than white smoke.

So far this year, California fire officials have battled 4,300 wildfires, a stark increase from the yearly average of nearly 3,000 they faced from 2008 to 2012. It’s still weeks before the fire-fanning Santa Ana winds usually arrive in Southern California.

Authorities still have not determined what caused the fire.

Evacuation orders were issued in five towns. Flames were marching toward the hardscrabble town of Cabazon, where hundreds scrambled to leave in the pre-dawn hours Thursday as the mountain ridge behind their homes glowed red.

Many returned after sunrise to pack up more belongings and watch the flickering line of fire snaking along the brown, scrubby mountains.

Linda Walls, 62, sat with her family in lawn chairs and watched fire crews scrambling to douse the flames marching toward her modest home less than a quarter mile away. An American flag flapped in the gusty wind that kicked up the fire. She wiped her brow, feeling the scorching heat.

Gray and pink-tinted clouds billowed across the otherwise crystal blue sky. Neighbors could be heard coughing as they filled the beds of pickup trucks with motocross bikes, boxes of clothing, toys and packaged food.

“It seems to be taking off now,” she said as sirens whirred by. “All you see are the firemen inside the blaze.”

At the end of her street, a group of ostriches paced in their cages as the hill above them burned. A firefighter rushing by said they would do what they can to protect them. Nearby another pen was filled with goats.