Enormous California wildfire threatens desert homes near LA
By CHRISTOPHER WEBERan hour ago
1 of 10A woman watches as the Bobcat Fire burns in Juniper Hill, Calif., Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An enormous wildfire that churned through mountains northeast of Los Angeles and into the Mojave Desert was still threatening homes on Monday and was one of more than two dozen major fires burning across California.
Five of the largest wildfires in state history are currently burning and more than 5,600 square miles (14,500 square kilometers) have been charred, an area larger than the state of Connecticut, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
At 165 square miles (427 square kilometers), the Bobcat Fire is one of the largest ever in Los Angeles County after burning for more than two weeks. It’s just 15% contained.ADVERTISEMENT
Evacuation orders and warnings are in place for thousands of residents in foothill and desert areas, where semi-rural homes and a popular nature sanctuary have burned. Statewide, at least 23,000 people remain evacuated, Newsom said.
No injuries have been reported for the fire about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Erratic winds that drove flames into the community of Juniper Hills over the weekend had died down, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Larry Smith.
“It’s slightly cooler too, so hopefully that will be a help to firefighters,” Smith said.
Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger U.S. wildfires to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, especially because climate change has made California much drier. A drier California means plants are more flammable.