Last night, the Station Fire double (at least) in size to over 85,000 acres. From what I understand, firefighters are struggling in part because the high-heat, low-humidity, low-wind conditions are unusual for fire season. The fire is spreading as if it is being whipped up by the Santa Ana winds, but there aren’t any. And the lack of wind is keeping the smoke in place, making it difficult to see.
Another fire has broken out in San Bernardino County, and it has grown to over 2000 acres already. The speed of the spread for all five fires has been due to the fact that the flames are moving through areas which haven’t burned in decades. Historically, wildfires have been an annual part of the ecosystem here in Southern California. We don’t like having the landscape near our homes burn every few years, so fire departments tend to interfere with the natural renewal process. Unfortunately, this means when fires do happen, they tend to be bigger and more difficult to deal with than if they were happening more regularly. Not that I’m advocating we let the fires take their natural course.
Fortunately, Mt. Wilson seems to have been given a reprieve, at least for now. The Mt. Wilson Towercam appears to be down, presumably from traffic rather than fire damage.
More importantly, no further injuries have been reported amongst firefighters. Let’s hope that it stays this way.