Extreme Heat Causes Dangerous Fires Across Southern California

Extreme Heat Causes Dangerous Fires Across Southern California


A monster heat wave in Southern California has brought triple digit temperatures across a large swath of the region and fueled dangerous fires. Many KMIR viewers asked where exactly a layer of smoke filling the sky was coming from.

Cal Fire says that layer of smoke our viewers were referring to is actually an accumulation of a number of southland fires. Firefighters across the state are battling several large wildfires and the hot temperatures, as you can imagine, are not making things any easier for them.

Here in the valley, crews battled several blazes throughout the day. Two fires in Desert Hot Springs. One that brought about three-dozen firefighters to Second Street for a house fire and displaced a family of four.  "They were worried and calling me out of their home," Ana Maria Lopez, a next-door neighbor who witnessed the fire said. Crews also battled a residential structure fire on Buena Vista Drive. According to reports, the fire was caused by a leaking propane tank.   

Over in Cathedral City, a fire in a  business near the intersection of Cathedral Canyon and Commercial Road. The fire scorched the back of a building and some nearby trees before it was put out.

In Santa Barbara County, the Sherpa Fire is now 54-percent contained. Nearly two thousand firefighters are still trying to extinguish the flames, which has scorched about 12 square miles and evacuated people in 270 homes and businesses. Those being forced to evacuate, packed their valuables and got ready to go. "I got a truck right here and just take the family photos and cat," Goleta resident Eric Sharf said.

Over at Angeles National Forest, not one, but two brush fires.  One is a 300-acre brush fire on the hillside of the San Gabriel mountains, above the town of Azusa. The Reservoir Fire, erupted near the Morris Reservoir, and officials believe it was started by a vehicle that went off the road. The second, the Fish Fire, broke out about four miles from the reservoir fire on the foothills near Duarte. That fire has burned at least 400-acres and has caused multiple evacuations, but so far has not caused any injuries.

All those fires caused a huge plume of smoke visible all throughout the valley. Experts saying  that smell of smoke and layer of soot in the air is an accumulation of a number of southland fires. They also say there may be more to come. "It’s hot so people need to take precautions," Cal Fire Battallion Chief Bill Lawe said.