High winds and continued dry weather have caused wildfires in parts of California, including a fire in San Diego County that exploded on Saturday afternoon. And the threat of fire is not over yet, forecasters say.
A bushfire, dubbed the Southern Fire, broke out in the community of Shelter Valley, Calif., Near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park late Saturday afternoon.
The fire was spreading at a “critical rate” shortly after it started, according to CalFire San Diego, growing from 40 acres to 800 acres in about an hour as high winds blew through the area.
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The National Weather Service has a wind advisory in effect until 11 p.m. PDT Sunday for the mountains of southern California, with gusts of up to 55 mph.
The rapid growth of the Southern Fire has caused the evacuation of about 500 people at the Butterfield Ranch campground, according to The Times of San Diego. Three structures were reportedly destroyed and the fire containment was 5%.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but first reports from authorities indicate that a man working on a metal fence post may have set off sparks that ignited dry vegetation in the area. proximity.
High winds will maintain the danger of rapidly spreading fires in southern California until Sunday evening. Strong winds are also expected to blow over northern California, but will likely last much longer. Red flag warnings are in effect until Tuesday in this part of the state.
Red (red) flag warnings and wind (tan) advisories were in effect from California to Texas early Sunday morning, May 2, 2021 (AccuWeather)
More than 97% of California is in a drought, with conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional, according to the latest update from the United States Drought Monitor. At the start of the Water Year (October 1, 2020), 67% of the state was in a drought. A lackluster rainy season has contributed to the increasing drought.
Forecasters say no rain is in sight for parched California at least midweek, and the building’s heat will add further stress to the drought-stricken state.
High temperatures are expected to climb in the 90s from Sacramento to Fresno, Calif., To about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for early May. Downtown Los Angeles will hit the mid-80s midweek, while the mid-70s will be more common. The triple digits will probably return to the deserts.
There may be an opportunity for a storm to bring wet weather to northern California by the end of the week, but AccuWeather meteorologists aren’t hoping it will be a big generator of rain for the area.
Further east across the southwest, fire dangers are also expected to remain high for some time, particularly ending this weekend.
A storm with rain and snow in the mountains could reduce the risk of fire in the Four Corners area, at least temporarily, by Monday.
Experts urge residents and visitors to the southwest to use extreme caution with any sources that could lead to a fire, as the fire danger remains high. Parking cars on dry brush, for example, or using outdoor power equipment and outdoor grills can cause fires.
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