Rescue workers searched for a man missing in a landslide on Tuesday, as large yellow tractors plowed through deep, dense mud and removed stones from roads after flash floods, dirt, rocks and ridges beneath fire-scorched slopes. Trees were swept away, cars and buildings buried in small mountain communities in Southern California.
Evacuation orders continued in parts of the San Bernardino Mountains, with thunderstorms and more landslides expected on Wednesday, while wildfires 500 miles (805 kilometers) to the north forced residents to leave their homes. forced.
The burning Mosquito fire about 110 miles (177 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco erupted in the afternoon, just hours after officials reported making “great progress” in the fighting.
“We have all our hands on deck,” said fire spokesman Chris Valenzuela as the fires raged near Todd Valley and Foresthill. “It’s burning very precariously and intensely.”
The fire was one of the three major fires in the state.
East of Los Angeles, employees searched road-by-street people who had been trapped the day before by mud washing down rocks, trees and other debris in Forest Falls, Oak Glen and Yucaipa, and a muddy mess and untold Destruction was left.
San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Eric Sherwin said homes and other buildings were damaged, including a commercial building whose ceiling was so high that its roof collapsed.
“We have boulders that went through weighing several tons,” Sherwin said. “It may take a few days to find all the cars that are missing because they are completely covered with mud.”
a Video Behind the sign for Oak Glen Steakhouse and Saloon appeared a slow-moving black river of mud, followed seconds later by a wave of deep mud-carrying waves. The next day mud was thrown all over the place.
Sherwin said the crew was searching for a missing person.
Residents trying to return home found it hard to get into the sticky mess.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Perla Helbert, whose feet were stuck in the mud after trying to go home. “If you try and take two steps, you get submerged. You just get stuck.”
Helbert was out of town and returned to his Oak Glen home late Monday to find a path covered with a few inches of mud. His family stayed with the family members for the night and returned after the first light to find that several feet of mud and a fence had been washed away.
Her husband had gone to buy shoes and coveralls before passing through to assess the damage.
“There’s a lot of rocks and a lot of soil. But hopefully the house is just fine,” she said.
Officials lifted some mandatory evacuation and place orders on Tuesday evening.
Workers were able to clear Valley of the Falls Drive – the only road leading to Forest Falls – and teams were assessing the damage. Other major roads in the San Bernardino Mountains were reopened.
For some homes in Forest Falls, it was too late to evacuate on Monday. Residents were told to take shelter in place at night as it was safer than going out.
The rains were the remnants of a tropical storm that brought high winds and some badly needed rainfall to drought-stricken Southern California last week, helping firefighters control the massive Fairview Fire, which lasted about 20 miles (about 20 miles). 32 km) to the south had spiraled out of control. Mudslides.
The 2020 wildfires – mudflows and flash floods in parts of the San Bernardino Mountains with burn scars – areas where there is little vegetation to hold the soil.
“All that dirt turns to mud and starts rolling down the mountain,” Sherwin said.
One of the 2020 fires, the El Dorado fire, was sparked by a smoke apparatus used by a couple to reveal the gender of their child. A firefighter died, and the couple was charge of involuntary manslaughter,
occurred approximately 175 miles (280 km) east of the mudslide MontecitoWhere massive debris flows killed more than 20 people and destroyed hundreds of homes in January 2018, a month later a huge wildfire scorched the hills.
About 40 miles (64 kilometers) west, Cal State San Bernardino reopened Tuesday, a day after the campus was closed when several buildings were flooded during heavy rains.
Powerful thunderstorms followed a week later, which saw California suffer a record-long heatwave. Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in many parts of the state, and pushed the state’s electrical grid to breaking point as air conditioners sucked up the electricity. The Fairview Fire in Southern California and the Mosquito Fire burning east of Sacramento raged and spiraled out of control.
Tropical Storm Aided Teams battling the Fairview Fire, about 75 miles (121 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. The 44-square-mile (114-square-kilometer) fire was 62% under control as of Tuesday. Two people died in the fire, which destroyed at least 35 homes and other structures in Riverside County.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, mosquito fires have grown to about 79 square miles (about 204 square kilometers), with 25% under control.
More than 11,000 people have been evacuated and nearly 6,000 structures are at risk – both figures rise as fires near Forresthill and Todd Valley jumped the middle fork of the American River after fires broke out on Tuesday. officials said.
Valenzuela said early Tuesday that strong winds pushed out a smoke-reversing layer that was suppressing the fire and giving fresh oxygen to the flames. The area was filled with extremely dry fuels that were rapidly igniting, challenging firefighters both on the ground and on the plane.
Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will make the weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. Over the past five years, California has experienced the largest and most devastating fire in its history.