Firefighters continued to battle 24 wildfires across California on Monday, September 7. Cal Fire has reported that this year more than two million acres (809,371 hectares) have been burned by fires across the state, a record since these numbers began being tracked in 1987. The fires are being fuelled by an ongoing heatwave, with Los Angeles county recording its highest ever temperature of 49.4°C (121°F) on Sunday, September 6. The most concerning fire remains the Creek Fire in Fresno county, which has grown to over 78,000 acres (31,565 hectares) and remains zero percent contained as of Monday afternoon. The fire has destroyed around two dozen dwellings in the town of Big Creek and authorities have issued evacuation orders for a number of areas in Fresno and neighboring Madera county. Evacuations have also been ordered in Alpine (San Diego county) due to the Valley Fire, which is only 3 percent contained. Other evacuations have been ordered in various locations across the state and the latest details regarding the fires and evacuation information can be found on Cal Fire's website.
On Sunday, California State Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Mariposa, Madera, and Fresno due to the ongoing wildfires. The US Forest Service also temporarily closed some forest areas, including the Sierra National Forest, the Angeles National Forest, and the San Bernardino National Forest.
Further spread of the fires is likely in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Nearly 1000 wildfires have broken out in California since August 15, many of which were sparked by lightning and some have merged into larger conflagrations. Recent high temperatures have fanned existing fires and sparked others across the state. Eight fatalities have been confirmed as a result of the fires and nearly 4000 structures have been damaged or destroyed across the state. Air quality in the region has also been significantly reduced due to the fires.
Those in the vicinity of the fires are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, anticipate possible transport disruption due to firefighting operations and road closures, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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