Top News
news_img 'The only way sometimes is over the top': Inside NFL players' art of hurdling defenders  ||   news_img NFL Week 11 winners, losers: Cowboys save their season, Jaguars are major disappointment  ||   news_img Red alert after Guatemala volcano erupts again, 200 flee  ||   news_img Budgets, family drama and stuff: How do you manage holiday gift-giving?  ||   news_img Chef and television star Curtis Stone talks food, family and truffles  ||   news_img Donald Trump must bust Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google monopolies like Teddy Roosevelt.  ||   news_img Will direct states to implement draft witness protection scheme: SC  ||   news_img Rahul Gandhi sends Israeli banana saplings for Amethi farmers  ||   news_img Nissan chairman fired after company investigation showed he falsified his income 'over many years'  ||   news_img AP Top Stories November 19 A  ||   news_img Sri Lanka parliament adjourned after just five minutes  ||   news_img Rain could hinder search for victims of California wildfire  ||   news_img Delhi court refuses to restrain Subramanian Swamy from tweeting about National Herald case  ||   news_img Taliban confirms talks with US officials on Afghan conflict  ||   news_img Purohit to get copy of photos, videos of Malegaon blast site  ||   news_img Amritsar attack a clear case of terrorism, says Amarinder Singh  ||   news_img Israel avoids early elections as coalition is kept intact  ||   news_img Police probing social media accounts propagating videos of 'executions' by terrorists: Kashmir IGP SP Pani  ||   news_img Senator Kamala Harris campaigns in Mississippi  ||   news_img PM Modi pays tribute to Rani Lakshmibai on her birth anniversary  ||            

Raging California fires: Why have the flames spread so quickly?  1 Week ago

Source:   USA Today  



Three separate wildfires are ravaging communities and forests across California, with hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate their homes.

The Camp, Hill and Woolsey fires are expected to continue burning for days. The flames from the Camp Fire in Butte County, California, were spreading at 80 acres per minute Thursday, which is equivalent to burning an entire football field every second, according to UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.  

How have the flames spread so quickly in California? USA TODAY breaks it down:

A high pressure system moving over the Great Basin, a watershed that covers parts of Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and California, is creating "Santa Ana winds," according to the National Weather Service. The pressure moves winds over California and toward the Pacific Ocean. 

"When you have an easterly flow, especially associated with Santa Anas like we've seen in the last day or so, you get a desert air mass that gets shoved westward towards the coast," Accuweather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.  

Winds have reached 50 mph in some parts of the state, according to fire officials. This makes it difficult to contain the perimeter of the fire as it spreads in multiple directions, Accuweather reported. The wind gusts are also making it difficult to contain the fire from above with planes or air tankers, Fire Capt. Stan Ziegler told the Los Angeles Times.  

Winds are expected to diminish Saturday as the pressure system weakens, but they will return Sunday as another front moves toward California, according to the NWS.

Dry conditions are contributing to the spread of the flames as well, according to Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read. 

"Basically, we haven’t had rain since last May or before that," Read said in a news conference Thursday. "Everything is a very receptive fuel bed. It’s a rapid rate of spread."

Rossio said dry climates can be a catalyst for wildfires. "If you don't have any rainfall to moisten up the soil, moisten up the vegetation, then it creates a more susceptible pattern for fires to occur," Rossio said. 

But Rossio said the rain California saw prior to May is also contributing to the fires. 

"Over the last few years we actually have had a lot of rain across California, but what that does is create a lot more vegetation for fires." Rossio said. "It's a cycle." 

Drying phenomenon 

The fires are also spreading due to low humidity and high temperatures across California, spurring on flames.   

"When you raise your temperature, you're also lowering your relative humidity," Rossio said. "That's why this is happening. It's a drying phenomenon." 

But the Santa Ana winds are making the low humidity even lower, according to Rossio. 

"When you have very low humidity from the desert moving over an area that has vegetation, you're drying the air mass," Rossio said. "You're drying the vegetation out. So any vegetation there becomes kindle for fires to develop." 


More News
About Us Terms & Conditions Disclaimer
Advertise Contact
register and win

NRIS.COM is one of the premier NRI website that provides a range of resourceful services to Indian expats residing in the USA. Visiting the site you will find comprehensive information related to restaurants, casinos, pubs, temples, carpool, movies, education, real estate, and forums. The simple and easy to navigate format allows NRIs to gain information within a fraction of a second. Moreover, advertising through its column of Indian free classifieds in USA allow businesses to improve visibility of their brand.

National NRI's Chat (0 Users Online)