Wildfires have burned a record 2 million acres in California this year, and the danger for more destruction is so high the US Forest Service announced Monday it was closing all eight national forests in the southern half of the state.
We’ve been living in California for the past couple of years and it’s become a second home to us, seeing the damage these recent wildfires have caused is heartbreaking. It sadly feels just like the summer we had this year in Australia. pic.twitter.com/JrXN7c1t3Q— RÜFÜS DU SOL (@RufusDuSol) September 4, 2020
Randy Moore, regional forester for the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region that covers California, announced the national forest closures and said the decision would be re-evaluated daily. Campgrounds at all national forests in the state also were closed.
It was one of many recent major fires that has displayed terrifyingly swift movement. The fire moved 15 miles (24 kilometers) in a single day and burned 56 square miles (145.04 square kilometers).
Updated information has reports of a military Chinook helicopter landing near Lake Edison to rescue people trapped by the Creek Fire. FFD and EMS units are on the ground waiting to receive and render care to all rescued individuals.— Fresno Fire PIO (@FresnoFire) September 8, 2020
Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Rosamond, the pilot of a Chinook helicopter, said visibility was poor and winds increasingly strong during the three flights he made into the fire zone. His crew relied on night-vision goggles to search for a landing spot near a boat launch where flames came within 50 feet (15.24 meters) of the aircraft.