Officials expressed hope Saturday that the worst of the California wildfires is behind them after what’s being described as a deadly summer “siege.”
In late July, as many as 14 fires, some out of control, raged from the Mexican to Oregon borders as a third record-setting heat wave approached in early August. Ten people were killed and 2,000 structures destroyed. In all, 688,000 acres have burned. President Trump declared a state of emergency July 25 for the Golden State.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a statement Saturday that 12 large fires remained as “temperatures across the state are expected to cool slightly.
“We are making good strides in containment on a lot of those large fires,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox. “The tide is turning.”
The Carr Fire in Northern California’s Shasta County has claimed eight lives and destroyed 1,077 structures as it roared through the Redding, California, area late last month. The 186,416-acre blaze was 55 percent contained Saturday, according to Cal Fire.
Southern California’s Holy Fire has consumed 21,473 acres and 12 structures in Orange and Riverside counties. It was 29 percent contained Saturday as evacuations for many affected communities were lifted, according to Cal Fire.