A thousand firefighters battled a growing wildfire in the inland mountains of Southern California early Thursday. The worked trying to save small communities where some homes have been lost and an estimated 1,500 residents were forced to flee.
The Silver Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. PDT Wednesday.
The fire spread so quickly, some residents didn’t have time to evacuate, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The fire was estimated at 15 ½ square miles early Thursday, growing from 6,000 acres late Wednesday to 10,000 acres overnight with zero percent containment.
There was a situation where people did have to shelter in place
Five people have been injured, including four firefighters and a civilian injured by the blaze, KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, reported Thursday. The civilian’s injuries were critical.
Thirteen helicopters and six air tankers were assigned to the blaze.
FEMA has authorized funds to assist the state in battling the Silver Fire. Up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs will be reimbursed.
The firefight is only expected to get tougher as the day goes on. As the fire moves further into the desert, crews will have to deal with higher temperatures, dry conditions and winds. A sustained breeze was already blowing in the early morning.
Most of Southern California’s severe wildfires are associated with Santa Ana winds caused by high pressure over the West that sends a clockwise flow of air rushing down into the region. This week’s fire, however, was being fanned by a counter-clockwise flow around a low pressure area over northwest California.
The blaze was 10 percent contained as of mid day Thursday.
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