State of Emergency Has Been Declared In Parts of Southern California Due to Fires

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Posted: Oct 12, 2019 2:03 PM

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties Friday evening due to several fires burning in the area. The Saddleridge, Eagle, Sandalwood, Reche and Wolf fires have destroyed structures, threatened homes and critical infrastructure and forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate the area.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a Fire Management Assistance Grant to assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to the Saddleridge fire in the San Fernando Valley which broke out just after 9 p.m. PST Friday night. The grant allows these agencies to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.

As of 10 a.m. PST, more than 7,500 acres have burned and the fire is 19 percent contained. A total of 31 structures have been damaged or destroyed. 13,000 residences in the area have been threatened and more than 100,000 people have been under mandatory evacuation orders. More than 1,000 firefighters have been deployed to this fire alone.

The smoke from the Saddleridge fire has severely impacted air quality.

“The Saddleridge fire is producing visible smoke with little plume rise that is currently blowing to the southwest to the ocean,” the agency told the Los Angeles Times on Friday. “Winds in the area of the Saddleridge fire will continue to come from the north to northeast throughout Friday and overnight into Saturday morning. Wind speeds will be strong throughout the advisory period, with gusts this morning around 30 mph before decreasing to 20 mph starting midafternoon and continuing this evening through Saturday morning.”

CalFire has also been continually putting out small fires throughout the state.