Numerous Large Fires Burn in the Southwest

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16 Jul 2024 12:20 AM

Numerous large fires are burning on the West Coast and fire danger remains critical as extreme heat continues along the west coast. Please avoid any outdoor burning or anything that will cause a spark. Hot and dry conditions mean water and moisture evaporate more quickly from trees, grasses, and shrubs, allowing them to burn faster.

Oregon

The Cow Valley Fire in eastern Oregon has now burned over 132k+ acres. As of Monday afternoon, the threat to local communities is decreasing. Accoring to officials, the Oregon State Fire Marshal task forces are finishing their last shift on Monday.

Montana

The Horse Gulf Fire east of Helena Montana has now burned 12,979 acres as of Monday, July 15th. This fire was first reported on July 9th, 2024 before growing rapidly on the 10th and 11th of July. Fire behavior has been very active due to "dense timber with heavy dead and down fuels" according to the Inciweb.

Arizona

The Freeman Fire north of Tucson Arizona has now burned 32,578 acres with containment growing substantially to 65% thanks to favorable conditions for firefighters. Thankfully the fire stayed quiet overnight, however, rain in the area may bring the concern of flash flooding and debris flows so be weary of that. This fire was caused by a lightning strike near the Oak Well Camp before a second lightning strike merged the two fires.

California

On July 5th, a vegetation fire near Zaca Lake in Santa Barbara County, California named the Lake Fire prompted firefighters from the Los Padres National Forecast and Santa Barbara County Fire to respond. Unfortunately, the fire has burned over 38 thousand acres, and containment has remained at 34% as of Monday, July 15th. The fire prompted evacuation orders for over one thousand people in Santa Barbara County. Smoke will be trapped at the surface leading to poor breathing conditions, especially for those sensitive to air quality.

Additional fires burning in California include the Shelly Fire, which has burned 14k acres and is 3% contained.

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