Sunday brought with it extremely aggressive wildfires that had firefighters in Northern California battling the elements. After they destroyed ten homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds living in the Sierra Nevada foothills, another fire near Yosemite National Park also wreaked havoc and destroyed a home.
The Sand Fire east of Sacramento has burned over 3,800 acres thus far, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also explained that since Friday, 6 square miles of rugged terrain near Amador and El Dorado (wine growing regions) had been affected.
On Sunday morning, officials declared that the fire was 35% contained but by then it had already destroyed 7 outbuildings. Lynne Tolmachoff, spokeswoman for CalFire added that in spite of the fact that the fire is being contained, it still threatens hundreds of homes and that there is a risk that the fire could grow again due to high wind and heat that are being expected in the region.
Tolmachoff also explained that because the vegetation in the area had already been struggling, it catches fire much easier and this also influences the qualities of the fire which burns hotter and spreads with great ease.
Because of the Sand Fire burning in the Sierra Foothills, more than 500 homes were evacuated by authorities. Roads near Plymouth were also closed to avoid casualties and 1,500 firefighters were brought in (aided by aircrafts and air tankers) to ensure that the fire is brought under control.
Similarly to the Sand Fires, another fire that broke out west of Yosemite National Park has quadrupled in size since Saturday afternoon. Its current size is 2,100 acres (this is more than 3 square miles) and according to officials, it was burning out of control on Sunday. A home adjacent to the park in the town of Foresta was destroyed (according to Ranger Scott Gediman) but the park remained open even in these conditions.
In Foresta, 100 homes were evacuated and two shelters were opened so that people and animals could seek shelter.
Other western states are also affected by wildfires: Colorado and Utah for instance have already had issues. But the largest wildfire that was burning in eastern Oregon (a 618 square mile mammoth) was 95% contained on Saturday. Firefighters also made significant efforts to contain the Carlton Complex that was burning in north-central Washington (another enormous wildfire that has already burned down more than 300 homes).