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California is on fire

The 10 PM news on KTVU TV last night stated that at that time there were 1026 wildfires burning in California. Hundreds of fires (800 according to this KTVU article and this one from CNN) have been caused by lightning strikes.

(Note: At 10 PM on June 27, 2008, KTVU TV news reported the number of wildfires burning in California at 1211.)

(Note: At 10 PM on June 29, 2008, KTVU TV news reported the number of wildfires burning in California was up to greater than 1400.)

(Update June 27, 2008: The usual Web site for CAL FIRE information has been overwhelmed by Internet traffic and has been moved to the CAL FIRE home page temporarily. A Google Earth map of “significant” wildfires is located here. Zooming in and clicking on the icons for individual fires on the Google Earth map brings up detailed information on the fire.)

(Update June 28, 2008: The interactive map is now located here.)

(Update July 3, 2008: CNN has been covering the wildfire situation very well, linking to blogs and local news as needed, including this news article at KSBW.com, Monterey, which details recent evacuations from Big Sur. The Basin Complex fire has consumed almost 56,000 acres and is STILL only about 3% contained.)

(Update July 7,2008: Last night’s 10 PM news on KTVU TV stated that the Basin Complex fire had consumed about 57,000 acres and was only 11% contained. The fire is not expected to be 100% contained until the end of July.)

(Update July7, 2008: As of 12:22 PM today, the Basin Complex fire in Big Sur had consumed 77,165 acres and was 18% contained. A heat wave that began today, as well as winds, are expected to worsen firefighting conditions.)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requested additional fire crews over the weekend, from Nevada and Oregon, and these crews arrived on Monday and Tuesday. On a plane trip north from Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying that half of the state of California was covered by smoke. Smoke has interfered with some aerial efforts to fight the fires, according to the KTVU reports.

Some 16 homes were burned and 500 more threatened in the community of Big Sur.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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