Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

CA city cancels July 4 fireworks as firemen combat fires in hot weather.

By knl9j Jul4,2024

AP—Oroville, Calif. A Northern California city canceled its annual Fourth of July fireworks display as an estimated 26,000 inhabitants were displaced by a spreading wildfire and hundreds of firefighters worked under harsh heat to prevent further property losses.

The Thompson Fire started before midday Tuesday near Oroville, Butte County, 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Sacramento. After growing to about 5.5 square miles (14 square kilometers), it released a massive plume of smoke visible from space.

Oroville Mayor David Pittman said Wednesday’s “significant drop in the fire activity” made him hopeful that some residents could return home.

The southern edge of the fire was contained, and firefighters in steep terrain were building containment lines on the northern side. Wednesday night’s containment was 7%.

“On that north side they have some real topography struggles,” Pittman added.

Cal Fire reported over a dozen other small fires across the state. A fresh fire Wednesday afternoon forced brief evacuations in densely populated Simi Valley, 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The state’s largest blaze, the Basin Fire, scorched about 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) of the Sierra National Forest in eastern Fresno County and was 26% contained.

On Tuesday night, Oroville issued a state of emergency and set up evacuation centers. The evacuation zone stretched Wednesday into foothills and rural regions outside the 20,000-person city.

Authorities cautioned that much of Butte County is restricted from fireworks on July 4. The specifically approved Oroville fireworks spectacular was canceled due to Thompson Fire evacuations and damage.

California State Parks officials stated numerous agencies have many resources responding to the fire and are attempting to get everyone home promptly.

Statement: “These agencies also have employees with families displaced by these evacuations who are tirelessly assisting the community of Lake Oroville.

Authorities threatened full legal consequences for unauthorized fireworks use.

“Don’t be an idiot, cause a fire and create more problems for us,” Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea stated. “No community member will want that.”

Property damages were not reported immediately. Fire destroyed three Oroville suburban homes, according to an Associated Press photographer.

The fire ignited grass sprigs on Lake Oroville’s concrete margins as gusting gusts swept up American flags lining a curve of the state’s second largest reservoir and the nation’s tallest dam.

Residents on hillsides watched aircraft dump water with an orange light. Over a dozen firefighters saved a residence while goats and other farm animals fled.

The cause of the fire was explored. When it exploded, urgent fire weather red flags were in effect.

“The conditions out there that are in our county this summer are much different than we’ve experienced the last two summers,” Cal Fire Butte County unit head Garrett Sjolund told participants. The fuels are dense and the vegetation dry. As shown, any wind will extinguish a fire quickly.”

To prevent fires from downed or broken wires, Pacific Gas & Electric shut off electricity in some Northern California areas.

After spring showers caused abundant grass to dry, Joshua Tree National Park officials closed Covington Flats, where most of the park’s Joshua trees lie, on Wednesday due to significant fire risk.–66866917e0bb9#goto9010


By knl9j

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