A frightening ‘firenado’ took shape in Southern California on Wednesday as at least five separate wildfires scorched thousands of acres and hundreds were evacuated from their homes.
California’s tumultuous wildfire season continued this month as a number of fires sprung up across the state and daily temperatures rose to the triple digits.
Most recently, fire and emergency crews have become inundated by the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes and Pine Canyon that began around 3.40pm.
A spokesperson with the Cal Fire told DailyMail.com that as of Friday, the disastrous brush fire had burnt 11,637 acres of land and only 12 per cent is contained.
Five structures in the Lake Hughes area have been seared as the fire continued to travel across the Angeles National Forest.
And video footage that captured a ‘fire tornado’ shows the sheer strength and danger lurking within the inferno.
As the Lake Fire burned through Southern California on Wednesday, a ‘fire tornado’ was spotted in Los Angeles as emergency crews attempted to get by
The fire tornado was created after the flames intermixed with a gutsy wind, and dry conditions, propelled the fire into the air
Southern California has been hit with a wave of wildfires in recent weeks as temperatures in the area heat up and gusty winds create the perfect storm
Pictured: Firefighters with the Los Angeles County Local 104 reportedly stopped to save an American flag from a property destroyed by the Lake Fire this week
The massive blaze can be seen crackling atop a hill near Pine Canyon Road as emergency vehicles speed by. Behind it, the fire snakes across hill tops and foliage, some of which hasn’t been burned since 1968.
Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind intermingles with the fire and the flames begin to rise into the air.
The flames twist in circles until a ‘firenado’ has emerged from the hilltop. Nearby, all the emergency vehicles attempting to pass by the narrow roadway sit still in awe. No injuries have been reported yet in relation to the fire.
Evacuation orders from Los Angeles officials caused around 250 people to flee from their homes, the spokesperson said.
Those areas included Lake Hughes Road West of Pine Canyon and North of Dry Gulch Rd; East of Ridge Route Road; West of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78; North of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road; and South of SR-138.
The Lake Fire that emerged in Southern California on Wednesday as prompted city officials to sound evacuation orders for at least 250 residents
Pictured: A firefighter helicopter drops water on the Lake Fire as it continues its progress in Lake Hughes and burns more than 11,000 acres of land
A spokesperson with the Cal Fire told DailyMail.com that as of Friday, the disastrous brush fire had burnt 11,637 acres of land and only 12 per cent is contained
More than 1,150 fire personnel, 14 crews and three agencies, including the Los Angeles County Fire Department, have been assigned to the Lake Fire this week in an effort to quell the inferno
A number of evacuation centers for families, as well as animal care shelters, were opened by city officials to ease the burden felt by displaced residents.
Road closures were implemented as firefighters fought the wildfire, including ones at 3 Points Road from Hwy 138 to Pine Canyon and Old Ridge Route from Hwy 138 to Pine Canyon.
The spokesperson added that although a cause has not been determined, authorities estimate that it will be 100 per cent contained by September 2.
More than 1,150 fire personnel and 14 crews have been assigned to quell the Lake Fire. Three agencies, including the Los Angeles County Fire Department, have joined forces.
Additionally, three helicopters, 162 fire engines, eight dozers and nine water tenders have been put forth for the cause.
‘Today, crews took advantage of improved fire weather conditions with slightly lower temperatures and moisture from tropical storm Elida moving across the Lake Fire area,’ Cal Fire wrote in an announcement.
Pictured: a map shows where the Lake Fire is located and what area is specifically affected
‘Near critical fire weather conditions could develop Friday afternoon and evening as gusty onshore winds could combine with warm and dry conditions in place.
‘Rugged terrain with drought stricken fuels, heavy fuel loading, and high temperatures have contributed to the difficulty of suppressing the fire during the initial attack period.’
Photos from Southern California showed the Los Angeles sky tinged deep orange and ginormous clouds of smoke blocking out the sun.
Emergency crews donned protective gear as pieces of fire and debris sprinkled out of the sky.
Further south, the Ranch2 Fire began around 11:50am on Thursday near North San Gabriel Canyon Road and Ranch Road in San Gabriel Canyon.
Cal Fire: ‘Near critical fire weather conditions could develop Friday afternoon and evening as gusty onshore winds could combine with warm and dry conditions in place’
A Los Angeles County firefighter extinguishes hot spots at a scorched residence while battling the Lake Fire in the Angeles National Forest. More than 1,150 emergency personnel have been dispatched to the Lake Fire.
In addition to emergency crews (pictured), three helicopters, 162 fire engines, eight dozers and nine water tenders have been put forth to quell the Lake Fire
Pictured: Residents in Azusa reported that the Ranch2 Fire began around 11:50am on Thursday near North San Gabriel Canyon Road and Ranch Road in San Gabriel Canyon (pictured)
Within 24 hours, the Ranch2 Fire has burned around 3,000 acres and fire crews have not been able to contain any of it. Pictured: A wildland firefighter crew refill their chainsaws with fuel at the Lake Fire in Lake Hughes
Within a day, the wildfire burned through 3,000 acres and zero of it has been contained.
A cause for the Ranch2 Fire has not been determined, but 100 emergency personnel have bee dispatched to the scene. Authorities are still gathering information about the fire.
‘The Ranch2 fire continued to burn actively throughout the night. Fire fighters are prioritizing the security of the perimeter along Mount Cove community and Highway 39,’ wrote California officials in an update.
As Racnh2 Fire edged closer to residential areas, Southern California Edison cut off power for 300 residents after power poles along Highway 39 were impacted.
Millions of California homes were left in the dark last summer when a series of intentional power cuts by PG&E and Edison International temporarily suspended electricity to stop wildfires.
Power poles along Highway 39 were impacted, which has prompted Edison to shut off power, impacting 300 residents.
The reason utility companies shut off power is solely to ‘significantly reduce catastrophic wildfire risk to our customers and communities,’ Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president for electric operations, told The New York Times.
Last month, regulators adopted new shutoff rules that would require companies to restore electricity within 24 hours after threatening weather occurs.
PG&E, the state’s largest utility company, set a personal goal of 12 daylight hours after strong winds ease, and doubled the number helicopters it will use to find downed power lines.
PG&E was forced to file bankruptcy last year after an investigation found its equipment was responsible for sparking deadly fires.A $13.5billion settlement was reached between PG&E and the state California in June.
Pictured: the Ranch2 Fire burns hillside as it edged closer to residential neighborhoods and families later forced to evacuate
Although the Lake Fire continued to burn on Friday, a spokesperson with Cal Fire said that authorities estimate it to be 100 per cent contained by September
A firefighter extinguishes hot spots of the Lake Fire on Thursday as a number of roads were closed and residents who lived near the area were asked to stay safe
‘The steep terrain coupled with the heavy smoke is making access difficult for personnel. There are currently limited resources assign, however orders have been placed. Fire activity is expected to increase with today’s forecast,’ wrote California officials.
Authorities warned residents that the fire will continue to grow on Friday because of the dry, hot heat that has overtaken the state this summer.
An extreme heat advisory was implemented as the area was expected to see highes near 108F on Friday.
Like the Lake Fire, road closures have been placed and an evacuation order that was set in place on Thursday was lifted today. Around 300 homes were evacuated.
A spokesperson with Angeles National Forest did not respond in time for publication. It’s unclear how many people were evacuated and when authorities estimate the Ranch2 Fire will be contained.
Apart from those two fires, there are four more still burning across Southern California.
The Stagecoach Fire in Kern County burned 7,760 acres and is 99 per cent contained. The Elsmere Fire worked through 200 acres and is 30 per cent contianed.
The Post Fire near Thousand Oaks is recorded scorching 120 acres and is 35 per cent contained. The Apple Fire near Apple Tree Lane in Riverside County is 90 per cent contained after destroying more than 33,000 acres.
In 2020, there have been 5,762 wildfire incidents that resulted in 48 structures damaged and 204,481 acres scorched. There have been no fatalities.
Wildfire season extends beyond California and has brought dangerous infernos to nearby states.
Evacuation orders were issued in central Oregon for the Mosier Creek Fire, while similar orders were given in Colorado for the Pine Gulch, Grizzle Creek and Cameron Peak fires.
The Oregon Department of Forestry said on Friday that the Mosier Creek Fire broke out around 4.30pm on Wednesday and quickly grew to over 500 acres by 10pm.
A shot of the Lake Fire from overhead shows the massive waves of smoke billowing over Southern California while scores of authorities work to rid the flames
Pictured: A helicpoter drops water on a wildfire burning the hillside behind homes on Wednesday in Azusa after residents near the Ranch2 Fire were asked to evacuate
A photo taken near Highway 39 shows just how close the Racnh2 Fire was too the roadway, which could possibly injured passing residents and vehicles. A number of roadways were closed as a result.
‘Fire officials flew an infrared scouting flight overnight and estimated the fire to have grown to 791 acres. The fire has currently destroyed 4 structures. The fire is believed to be human caused and is currently under investigation.’ wrote ODF officials.
Approximately 564 homes were under evacuation notice as authorities worked to stop the spread.
Gov. Kate Brown invoked a conflagration act that allowed additional state firefighting resources to mobilize to protect people and property.
Like California, winds and hot temperatures caused Mosier Creek Fire to grow rapidly and leave fire crews scrambling to create containment lines.
In Colorado, The Pine Gulch Fire ravaged 73,381 acres and contained seven per cent after it was first reported on July 31. It was caused by a lightning strike.
Located eight miles north of Grand Junction, the Pine Gulch Fire has become the fourth largest fire in Colorado history. Around 794 emergency crews have been called to the scene,
The charred remains of a truck is seen near a burning house in Pine Canyon during the Lake Fire on Wednesday, becoming one of five structures that have been damaged throughout the incident
Outside of California,similar wildfires were reported in Colorado and Oregon as hot temperatures help foster infernos this summer
Pictured: a map from The Weather Channel showed the temperatures today in the United States
Just a few miles east, the Grizzly Creek Fire has scorched 13,441 acres after it was reported Monday morning. It has since cross the Colorado River and Interstate 70.
‘This fire is in a really tough spot, and it’s really tough to fight,’ said White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in a press conference.
Around 352 emergency personnel have been assigned to the Grizzly Creek Fire so far. The Cameron Peak Fire has consumed 1,537 in Glenwood Canyon.
Meanwhile, the wave of wildfires in the West come as temperatures heat up in the region.
At least six states on Friday recorded temperatures in the triple digits, including 116F in Arizona, 111F in Nevada and 103F in Oregon.
Just yesterday, temperatures in California’s Death Valley topped 127F – the hottest temperature ever recorded in August – as millions of Americans were placed under heat warnings.
34 million people across California and the southwest are under excessive heat watches and warnings.