The wildfire near the southern California town of Hemet has burned 27,463 acres (11,000 hectares) and is only 5% contained, and officials fear high winds and storm surges from the storm tropical Kay could further intensify the incident.
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The spokesman for the California fire department (Cal Fire), Jay Smiths, indicated that the so-called Fairview fire (the largest of the year in the southern state) is historic because it is one of the few that has been directly affected by a tropical storm. .
“They can’t remember a time where we’ve had a fire like this. It’s tropical storm influenced, so it’s pretty rare in this area. I think this might be the first or second time it’s really happened in California.” Smith indicated.
Weather conditions are changing by the hour in Hemet, affecting firefighting efforts.
Firefighters were trying to put out a fire that was spreading relentlessly on the outskirts of this city, while preparing to deal with landslides and flooding due to the arrival of a storm on the areas already devastated by the fire.
Since Monday, the Fairview Fire has burned more than 11,700 hectares in this part of California, ravaged by a fierce heat wave.
An already vast evacuation zone was expanded to encompass more than 20,000 people; at least two have died, apparently caught in the flames as they tried to flee.
Nearly 24,000 people from Hemet to Temecula are under evacuation orders as the Fairview Fire continues to spread.
Hurricane Kay made landfall in Mexico the day before yesterday and began moving north. Although it weakened to a tropical storm, it was expected to bring heavy rain to parts of California and Arizona.
Temperatures, which have exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit in places for several days, remained high in central and northern California.
Disclaimer: Via Telesur – Translated by RJ983
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