Can Wildfires Burn Down Los Angeles? Dec 13, 2017

We all know of the great fires of history. The Chicago fire, the Great Fire of London– the list goes on; entire cities up in flame.

But can it happen today?
A question that seems overtly relevant in the face of a truly devastating wildfire season for the state of California.

California Thomas Fire

⛑HAT TIP to all Firefighters and First Responders who've worked endlessly to keep Californians safe amid these wildfires! Around 700 additional fire fighters have been brought in from neighboring states to assist the massive Thomas Fire that began last week and has since grown to ~ 234,200 acres. #CAwx

Posted by WeatherNation on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This Season

2017 was a year for the record books.

  • The worst year of wildfires in recorded history.
  • More than 1,000,000 acres have burned in the state of California alone.
  • Thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.
  • More than 40 people died in wildfires in 2017

The reason this season was so bad can be blamed on the weather.

  • Record precipitation during the 2016-2017 wet season.
  • Abundant plant growth.
  • Extremely hot and dry summer.
  • Dried and dead plants became fuel for the fires
  • Powerful Santa Ana winds.

In a recent interview with CalFire, Public Information Officer Scott McLean said, “We really don’t have a season anymore.” In reference to the ongoing fires across Southern California.
Instead, we are seeing wildfires more as a year round event.

This, coupled with growing residential areas, only made matters worse.
California’s population continues to rapidly grow. As individuals and families explore new areas to reside, they are building their homes closer to wildfire-prone areas.

Thomas Fire Plumes

Check out this video that the Ventura County Fire Department shared. In the video you can see huge plumes of smoke from the Thomas Fire.

Posted by WeatherNation on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A City on Fire

It’s happened before.

This isn’t the first time wildfires in California have encroached upon highly populated residential areas. In 1961 the Bel-Air fire claimed more than 500 homes, even claiming the residences of some of Hollywood’s elite at the time.
The fire, just over 16,000 acres, was fanned by Santa Ana winds similar to that of this December.

This year we’ve already seen wildfires burn some heavily populated areas. Santa Rosa lost 5% of its homes this year from the devastating wildfires– an area that grew by more than 10% in the past decade.

The 405, a major L.A. throughway that sees some 400,000 cars each day, was shut down because of a nearby wildfire this year.

Lance on Thomas Fire

California resident Lance Orozco has been following the California wildfires, hear what he has to say about why these fires are a little out of the ordinary for state.

Posted by WeatherNation on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

But Can it Happen?

I set out writing this article to find an answer to the question, but as I researched and wrote– I realized that it doesn’t really matter.

The wildfires in and around L.A. have already forced hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.

In a matter of days we saw one of the worst wildfire outbreaks in Southern California history.

For residents not forced to evacuate, daily life has been drastically impacted.

So as powerful, dry winds continue to fan the flames of the late-season inferno the real question is not if they can burn L.A. but instead, what can we do in the face of ever-threatening wildfires?

It wasn’t just Southern California that saw devastating wildfires. Northern California, Montana, and much of the western U.S. fell victim to one of the worst fire seasons in history.

California Wildfires

HEARTBREAKING! Thousands still evacuating as California wildfires grow out of control. This has been the longest and strongest Santa Ana wind event so far this season. This is the video from the SKIRBALL FIRE that shut down the 405 earlier this morning that started last night in LA county. #CAwx

Posted by WeatherNation on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - This was just one of several tornadoes on the ground on Thursday. See more photos/video her… https://t.co/0ZMAQYcWdR

49 minutes ago by WeatherNation

The flooding in #McAllen today came after a week of wet weather, but also from a record amount of rain for the day… https://t.co/tqqmxdd3Mo

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

TEXAS FLOODING - This is one way to get around flooded spots! The threat for flooding continues across the southern… https://t.co/yu5UQDbQ8d

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

TOP VIDEO OF THE WEEK - Check out this sped up progression of the tornado that moved through Stoddard County, MO on… https://t.co/ozOaM5l6F2

3 hours ago by WeatherNation

ANOTHER LOOK - Here's a second view of the stovepipe tornado that moved through Missouri earlier today! #mowx https://t.co/y6gR5GCFS6

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Confirmed tornado: Several people in southeast Missouri saw this tornado earlier in the evening (around 6:20 p.m. T… https://t.co/BwVMQDMWO2

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

This tornado yesterday in Perry, Iowa has officially been rated an EF-0 with max winds around 80 mph and no injurie… https://t.co/yUiSyxNfaa

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

We hope this man is okay after numerous reports of submerged cars in McAllen, TX. This is one of many communities u… https://t.co/BlqxcwurQJ

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

Here's an awesome capture by @jeffmorrisAR in northeast Arkansas of a tornado-warned storm earlier today. #ARwx https://t.co/kAYPl1OxbW

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

There's another area to watch for development in the Eastern Pacific, continuing an active start to the season ther… https://t.co/8hQcLWRfqX

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

CAUGHT ON CAMERA - Check out this eerie video of a tornado near Darlington, ID earlier today...watch as at the end… https://t.co/cB1k8Q1MDc

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

Texas Governor @GregAbbott_TX has announced a disaster declaration for 6 counties in Texas. Meteorologists at… https://t.co/yT3Kg8nkNw

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

RT @NWSDesMoines: We surveyed minor tornado damage just west of Perry this morning. Rated EF0 with mainly sporadic tree and crop damage. No…

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

EARLIER TODAY - At least one tornado confirmed near Yates City, IL Thursday afternoon...with an continued threat fo… https://t.co/GPH1E0bA85

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Wow, that's a lot of rainfall in Texas this week so far... #TXwx https://t.co/FYwLcu2yw5

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

#BREAKING: Severe T-Storm Watch has been issued for parts of the Central U.S. through 9 PM CDT. https://t.co/ZOw6O98z5E

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

Feels a bit chilly across the Northeast on this first day of summer! You can thank the "Back Door Cold Front" for t… https://t.co/OLRlU4znGC

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

STATE OF EMERGENCY declared for @CityofMcAllen by Mayor Jim Darling due to severe flooding. #McAllen #TXwx https://t.co/yh1RjBoqU2

11 hours ago by WeatherNation
Follow Us