California firefighters saved about forty homes by holding back a fast-moving blaze that marched to the edge of a rural Northern California neighborhood on Saturday.
The busy holiday weekend witnessed several destructive fires across the state. The blazes could be attributed to dry conditions and rising temperatures that fueled the fire on the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa. The fire consumed about 8 square miles of rolling hillsides by Golden Bear Estates, said state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.
The fire was only 15 percent contained.
“The fire burned right up to the homes,” said Daniel ” The firefighters took a stand and protected the homes as it was raging through the neighborhood.”
The firefighters battling fire northwest of Lake Berryessa were being reassigned to contain the Monticello Fire, which started Friday night near the Monticello Dam that forms the man-made lake. The fire was seventy percent contained after burning nearly 7 square miles and destroying 2 homes.
A fire also tore through the community of Collinsville along the Sacramento River on Friday, destroying eight homes and damaging 3. The fire is out but left 25 residents without homes and caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage.
In Southern California, a fire near the mountain town of Julian that had destroyed 2 homes was 90 percent contained Saturday after burning about 220 acres.
State fire officials said they were getting prepared for more fires over the next couple of days.
California has faced an extremely early and severe fire season in 2014. Over the last four decades, fires have grown millions of acres larger and the fire season has extended by about three months on average.
Governor Jerry Brown said in May of this year that California has 5,000 firefighters and has appropriated $600m to battling blazes, but that may not be enough.
“We’re getting ready for the worst,” said Brown “Now, we don’t want to anticipate before we know, but we need a full complement of firefighting capacity.”
He added that thousands of additional firefighters may be needed in the future, saying California is on the “front lines” of climate change, which is making its weather hotter.