CALIFORNIA—Fire reinforcements, such as firefighters, aircraft, and extra equipment from arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area on August 22 and August 23, as fires in the state continue to grow. A new weather pattern is expected to bring in high winds and lightning to the area.
On August 23, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning that would go into effect at 5 a.m. on August 24. The Red Flag warning on the National Weather Service’s website stated: “A moist and unstable mid-level airmass will continue to spread north across the region today. Isolated thunderstorm development remains possible across much of Northwest California through this evening [August 24], but the best remaining potential has shifted northward towards Humboldt and Trinity Counties. Lightning combined with dry fuels will increase the threat for fire starts.”
According to statistics from Cal Fire, the fires have scorched 991 square miles together, and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings. At least 100,000 residents across the affected counties are under evacuation orders, and 96 percent of the state’s available fire engines have been deployed.
During a press conference over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 10 states have sent personnel and equipment which have been arriving, but that he has also asked Canada and Australia for help. “We have more people but it’s not enough,” the governor said during the press conference.
The fires have been divided into three complexes: The LNU Lightning Complex, the CZU Lightning Complex, and the SCU Lightning complex. Recent statistics released by CAL Fire on August 24 show that the CZU Lightning Complex covers 78,000 acres and is 13 percent contained. The LNU Lightning Complex, the deadliest and most destructive so far, has grown to 350,030 spanning across five counties, and is 26 percent contained. The SCU Lightning Complex has covered 347,196 acres, and is 10 percent contained.