Crews fight the last wildfire in southern California
LOS ANGELES: Crews fought a pitched battle against the last major forest fire in southern California when stubborn flames threatened nearly 2,000 homes and other buildings.
The fire that broke out on the top of a hill northwest of Los Angeles went to what would be his third day on Saturday and firefighters found hard work as the changing winds made the front line a moving target.
Maria's fire had burned about 38 square miles (38 square kilometers) and caused evacuation orders for almost 11,000 people since it began Thursday night.
Eastern Ventura, Camarillo, Somis and Santa Paula were at risk, the Ventura County firefighters said.
On Friday, a tug of war was developed between winds on land and on the high seas.
It has been an uphill battle since then, said Ventura County fire chief Mark Lorenzen. As the winds change, we have a new open fuel bed.
Winds and low skin moisture were expected to make Saturday another difficult day for firefighters.
The teams struggled to keep the llamas away from orchards and farms in the rural area. Three buildings were destroyed.
The cause was under investigation, but there was a worrying possibility that an electric line might have been involved, since such lines have been in other recent fires.
Southern California Edison said Friday that it energized a 16,000 volt power line 13 minutes before the fire broke out in the same area.
Edison and other utilities across the state cut off the power supply to hundreds of thousands of people this week due to concerns that high winds may cause power lines to ignite and cause fires.
SCE will cooperate with investigators, said the utility.
The fire began during what was expected to be the end of a siege of that fanned fire that destroyed buildings and caused massive evacuations throughout the region.
The fires even caught the attention of teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who was visiting Los Angeles for a demonstration.
It has been horrible to see what is happening here and what happens here often and that has worsened due to the climate crisis, he said.
The red-flag weather warnings of extreme fire danger were expected to expire Friday night, but forecasters extended them until 6 p.m. Saturday for the valleys and counties of Ventura and Los Angeles, citing wilted conditions.
In northern California, more people were allowed to return to evacuated areas due to the large Kincade Fire fire for days in the Sonoma County wine country.
The 121 square mile (313 square kilometers) fire was 70% contained, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The number of homes destroyed reached 174 and there were 35 more damaged, said Cal Fire. Many other structures also burned.
Historic and dry winds led the state’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas&Electric Co., to begin four rounds of widespread preventive closures in Northern California this month to prevent wildfires.
But the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District identified the company's team as the cause of three smaller fires that emerged Sunday in the suburbs of the San Francisco de Martínez and Lafayette Bay area.
And although the cause of the Kincade fire has not been determined, PG&E reported a problem with a transmission tower near the place where the fire started.