Southern California has been battling a devastating series of wildfires since Monday, December 4th, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of the fires stopping. On Thursday, December 7th, another new brush fire, the Liberty Fire, broke out in Murrieta, Riverside County.
The flames burned 300 acres in unincorporated Riverside County, which is southeast of Los Angeles, near Anaheim. Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire destroyed at least one house. Windspeeds of 20-30 m.p.h. fueled the blaze, similar to the way winds fed the other fires throughout the state.
By the morning of December 8th, the fire was 60 percent contained: a higher percentage of containment than any other fire burning in the area right now. Evacuation orders were lifted at 8 p.m. on December 7th for parts of the county. And 50 people who had previously lost power had it restored as of 6 a.m. on December 8th.
Schools in the Temecula Valley Unified School District were canceled on December 8th due to low air quality and anticipated transportation difficulties.
The Liberty Fire brings the total number of wildfires in Southern California to six. They range from Santa Barbara County in the north to San Diego County in the south.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in California on December 8th at the request of Governor Jerry Brown. This enables FEMA to aid in fighting the blazes. Brown wrote in his request to Trump that the state doesn’t have the resources to manage the growing fires.
The magnitude of the fires engulfing California and the number of people forced to evacuate is shocking. We hope that with the requested federal aid, these wildfires will be under control soon.