31 de octubre de 2020
Hispanic World

Firefighters continue battling blazes across California

By Alex Segura Lozano

By Alex Segura Lozano

Los Angeles, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- The fires burning in California have destroyed some 1.3 million hectares (3.3 million acres or 5,150 square miles) of forested land in the worst-ever fire season on record - and technically speaking, traditional fire season has not even started yet.

So far this year, according to figures compiled by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), more than 7,700 fires have broken out across the state and a record set for hectares burned despite the fact that the traditional fire season - October and November - has not yet arrived.

Some 16,000 firefighters are working the length and breadth of California to try and prevent the strong winds from spreading the flames, but since mid-August at least 30 people have died in the blazes and tens of thousands have had to evacuate their homes. In addition, a number of people have gone missing in the shifting and complicated environment in the fire-ravaged areas.

Experts place the blame for the fires on several sources, specifically global warming - with less rainfall, more droughts and very high temperatures - along with forest management, as well as an increased human presence in traditionally unpopulated areas, all of which make fires, when they do break out, much more dangerous than they otherwise might be.

On Wednesday, Cal Fire said that it had issued "red flag" warnings in northeastern California around the Modoc National Forest and the Tule Lake Basin because of the strong winds and low humidity.

Cal Fire said that temperatures are expected to remain high on Wednesday and Thursday, although they should moderate somewhat due to the smoke - which is preventing the sun from being as hot as it otherwise would be under clear skies. There is no significant rainfall predicted for the coming days and California remains under drought conditions that are perfect for the eruption of either man-caused or natural fires, such as from lightning strikes.

Cal Fire said that fire activity increased in a number of areas on Wednesday, although progress was being made on bringing other fires under control

In fact, firefighting teams were able to contain the two big forest fires in the state on Tuesday, while they are continuing to battle some 33 "big" fires elsewhere in California.

The fire that has been dubbed the Bobcat blaze by Cal Fire has burned more than 16,600 hectares (some 41,500 acres) during the week since it started, and fire teams have only been able to get it 6 percent contained.

Local authorities, who have called fire's threat to the Los Angeles area "unusual," say that it has eluded firefighters and is threatening communities in the area despite not having burned any homes or caused any injuries so far.

In the past few hours, the flames have gotten much closer to the Mt. Wilson Observatory, one of the largest astronomical observatories in the US and founded in 1904 by astrophysicist George Ellery Hale.

Officials at the observatory said on Twitter that the approaching fire was "knocking" on their door, adding that all observatory personnel had been evacuated.

The fire has contributed significantly to several days of terrible air quality in Los Angeles, where residents have reported strong smoke and extremely hazy conditions, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Besides deploying firefighters, one of the main measures taken by the unit tasked with monitoring the air quality in Los Angeles County was to issue a smoke alert directed in particular at the 60,000 residents of Arcadia, a city located in the LA metro area.

In northern California, firefighters on Tuesday managed to get the August Complex fire in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties some 30 percent contained, but the fire remains the largest in the state's recent history and has burned at least 355,102 hectares (about 888,000 acres) in a mountainous zone very difficult for fire teams to access.

Last Sunday, Oregon authorities announced that they had found alive almost 50 people who had been on missing lists in the southern part of the state, thus significantly reducing the number of people who remain unaccounted for amid the fires in all three West Coast states.


Histórico de noticias
Zeta downgraded to post-tropical storm after leaving 5 dead in southern US

Miami, Oct 29 (efe-epa).- Zeta, which on Wednesday made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a Category 2 hurricane, was downgraded to a post-tropical storm...

Economy, Covid-19 are focus in Biden-Trump duel for Florida

Miami, Oct 29 (efe-epa).- Five days before the US election and with more than 7.3 million votes already cast in Florida, President Donald Trump and...

Mexico's marigold "pulque" another way for the living to remember the dead

By Miquel Muñoz

Hathaway: We should keep authoritarians in films, not running our countries

By David Villafranca

"Wall of Hope" in Peru where people write what they want to do after pandemic

By Fernando Gimeno

Republicans accuse Twitter of censoring and anticonservative bias

Washington, Oct 28 (efe-epa).- The CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter - Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey, respectively - on Wednesday faced...

US accuses 8 of being illegal Chinese gov't agents, harassing dissident

New York, Oct 28 (efe-epa).- The United States on Wednesday charged eight people with being illegal agents for the Chinese government and conducting an...

Leopoldo Lopez: I will return to liberate Venezuela

By Alida Juliani

All Souls Day bread a tradition in southern Mexico

By Juan Jesus Cortes

The US South, a legacy of slavery at the polls

By Susana Samhan

Mexico's Caribbean coast on red alert for Hurricane Zeta

Cancun, Mexico, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Mexico's Caribbean coast on Monday was placed on red alert with the approach of Tropical Storm Zeta, which according to...

Bolivian court nullifies arrest order for Morales on terrorism charges

La Paz, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- A Bolivian court has annulled several elements of the court proceedings for alleged crimes such as terrorism and sedition against...

Scientists find clear evidence of frozen water on Moon

By Carmen Rodriguez

The unstoppable decline of US after four years of Trump

By Julio Cesar Rivas, Rosa Jimenez and Jesus Centeno

Tropical Storm Zeta gains strength en route to Yucatan

Miami, Oct 25 (efe-epa).-Tropical Storm Zeta, which formed on the weekend in the Caribbean and is heading toward the Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds...

Deported Mexicans trust Biden: He owes us immigration reform

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Covid-19 cases around Pence rise to 5, but he maintains travel schedule

Washington, Oct 25 (efe-epa).- The new outbreak of Covid-19 in the White House has now affected five people around Vice President Mike Pence, but his office...

Foreign hackers threatening US elections again

By Marc Arcas

Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray return in "On The Rocks" with Woody Allen style

Los Angeles, Oct 23 (efe-epa).- Filmmaker Sofia Coppola and actor Bill Murray are teaming up again after their success in "Lost in Translation" to make "On...

Cuban dance adjusts to the pandemic's new normal

By Yeny Garcia

Venezuelans stranded in Dominican Republic desperately seeking to return home

By Maria Montecelos

Ecuadorian security forces use tear gas to disperse Quito protesters

Quito, Oct 22 (efe-epa).- Ecuadorian police on Thursday used tear gas to disperse a demonstration in Quito called by a union to protest the country's...

Giuliani defends self against sexually compromising scene in "Borat" film

Los Angeles, Oct 22 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump's personal attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, defended himself on Thursday after...

Russia, Iran deny US charges of election meddling

Moscow, Oct 22 (efe-epa).- The governments of Russia and Iran rejected on Thursday accusations from Washington that they are trying to influence the outcome...