All Weather News

VIDEO: It Took Months, but All California Wildfires Are Now Under Control

7 Oct 2014, 1:54 pm

California, ravaged by a historic drought and the searing heat of summer, has been battling an inordinate number of wildfires in recent months.

“It’s been a very busy fire season this year. We’re in the third year of an extreme drought and we’re about 1,000 fire above normal for this time of year,” said CALFIRE Public Information Officer Lynne Tolmachhoff.

But, thanks to an increase in humidity and recent rains, the tides have changed; firefighters now have all California wildfires under control.

Two of the state’s largest wildfires, the King and the Happy Camp Complex Fires, are nearly 100 percent contained.

According to the National Wildfire Coordination Group — a division of the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior — the King Fire, which has burned nearly 98,000 acres is about 98 percent contained.

king fire

Even so, Tolmachhoff says firefighters are having a rough go of it in steep terrain. That said, at present, the fire isn’t expected to spread past its current boundaries.

The Happy Camp Complex Fire, which was blamed for the destruction of hundreds of structures, is also nearly fully contained — about 97 percent — as well. The Happy Camp Complex Fire has burned almost 133,000 acres, which is an area about the size of Jonesboro, Ark.

The months of fire fighting have taken their toll on fire fighters and California’s bottom line.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in the last 10 months the state has spent its entire 209-million dollar budget allocated for fighting wildfires. California Governor Jerry Brown had to tap a 70-million dollar reserve account to have funds to continue fighting the fires.

The toll on state resources isn’t only financial. Firefighters from around the state are exhausted from nearly continuous battles with blazes. But, with fires now winding down and better weather conditions, firefighters can finally catch their breath.

That said, some concern about wildfires remains.

Tolmachhoff explains, “Fire season is not over, we have not seen enough precipitation to be able to call fire season to an end.”

Fire season in northern California generally runs from May to October, while the threat for wildfires in Southern California is ever-present.

WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping an eye on wildfire activity in the coming days and weeks. But Californians can breath a sigh of relief that, at least for now, the threat for wildfires has diminished.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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