Weekend storms could be a mixed blessing for crews battling California’s largest wildfire.
But a big change in tactics could help crews more effectively tackle raging fires in the future.
A recent series of strong storms, a series of winds of 40 miles per hour, and high water levels have helped crews in the path of several large fires including the Thomas Fire, which has burned more than 6,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. At least five other fires are burning.
To combat flames, firefighters have been working closely with National Weather Service weather spotter Chris Heise of Bakersfield, who calls the storms a “windy, rainy mess.”
“The winds are really strong and gusty. We have high water,” Heise said Friday, according to KTLA in Los Angeles. “It’s going to be really nasty going to work tomorrow morning.”
At least five other fires are burning in the state, including the Yrengier fire, which is threatening homes in the Santa Clarita Valley.
A number of communities are under evacuation order, according to the Los Angeles Fire Authority.
In the Bakersfield area, it’s the same story for wildfire fighting crews.
“The winds are really strong,” said Heise. “It’s going to be really nice weather for us in the morning – windy, rainy, cool.”
An intense wildfire is burning in the Santa Barbara area, according to the U.S. Forest Service. At least five other fires are burning in the state.
In the Angeles National Forest, crews are working on the Thomas Fire, burning 2,000 acres in Ventura, and the Yrengier fire, burning over 6,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
The wind in the area of the fires has shifted from from the North to the South side of the fire, and is gusting at nearly 60 miles per