The so-called Summit Fire is one of at least 680 wildfires that state firefighters have responded to this year in California – 200 more than the average for the period. Conditions are dry, warm, and windy.
Firefighters partially contained a southern California brush fire Wednesday night, but state fire officials worry it will spread faster Thursday because of forecasted 90-degree temperatures and 50-mile-per-hour winds.
The so-called Summit Fire, which has destroyed one home and left two firefighters with minor injuries, broke out about noon on Wednesday. Fire officials evacuated about 500 residents in Banning, Calif., located 90 miles east of Los Angeles. The fire burned roughly 3,000 acres, and firefighters had contained 40 percent as of Thursday morning.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) issued statewide warnings for “extreme fire danger” Wednesday, as a dry winter, warm temperatures, and high winds have created model wildfire conditions.
“The grass, brush, and trees are very volatile. They’re ready to burn,” CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson said. “Everything is just very dry. And not just in southern California, statewide.”