ENVIRONMENT
07/09/2017 02:38 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2017

Multiple Wildfires Rage Across California

The blazes come as the state battles an intense heatwave.

Multiple wildfires are burning up and down California, forcing evacuations and scorching thousands of acres as the state battles a record-setting heat wave. 

The largest of the blazes is the Alamo fire, where more than 23,000 acres have burned since igniting in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, said Sunday morning. It is still only 10 percent contained.

In Northern California, the Wall fire in Butte County had burned 4,400 acres, destroyed 10 structures and injured four people since starting on Friday. It is 17 percent contained and threatens another 750 structures, Cal Fire said. At least 300 people have been evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, local outlets reported. 

It’s been a tough weather year for Butte County residents. In February, around 200,000 people in the area had to evacuate as heavy rains inundated Lake Oroville, threatening to compromise its dam and flood nearby towns. 

In Southern California, the Whittier fire in Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara has burned around 7,800 acres. The blaze, which falls under the U.S. Forest Service’s jurisdiction rather than Cal Fire’s, began Saturday afternoon and remains at just 5 percent containment.

It has destroyed 20 structures and threatens another 150, officials said Sunday morning.

At one point on Saturday, the fire trapped around 80 campers, including many young children, at the Circle V Ranch Camp until firefighters were able to clear a road leading out of the campsite. 

Battling the blazes is complicated by the hot, dry weather scorching the state. 

“Low humidity, high heat and the winds are right — and there’s just a lot of stuff to burn,” Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Gina DePinto told The Los Angeles Times

Multiple California cities set heat records on Saturday for a July 8, including Los Angeles, Stockton, Modesto and South Lake Tahoe. In Stockton, the thermometer hit 108 degrees, while Los Angeles it reached 98 degrees.

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