Wildfire Balloons Overnight in California's Sierra National Forest

Wildfire Balloons Overnight in California's Sierra National Forest”

Forest fire officials add that crews face steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading, and high temperatures, which will challenge fire suppression efforts today.

Since igniting in the Sierra National Forest on Friday evening, the so-called Creek Fire has exploded to 36,000 acres as a brutal heat wave pushed temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in many parts of the state.

On top of that, 'this is in a river canyon, so in the afternoon you get up canyon winds, ' Tune said.

The fast-spreading Creek Fire trapped campers at Mammoth Pool reservoir above Huntington Lake on Saturday and led to a dramatic night time airlift to evacuate over 200 people to Fresno, some with serious injuries.

Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera countiesRed circles on this live-updating map are actively burning areas, as detected by satellite.

More news: Virgin Atlantic Plans 1,150 More Job Cuts After Completing Rescue Deal

Authorities have issued evacuation orders throughout the region. One major fire (pictured) broke out near Vacaville, which lies between San Francisco and Sacramento.

The Fresno-Madera Red Cross has established two temporary evacuation points: at Foothill Elementary School in Prather in Fresno County and at North Fork Elementary School in the Madera County town of North Fork. The sheriff advised those hoping to visit Shaver Laker over Labor Day weekend to change their plans. The California Highway Patrol shut State Route 168 to only allow access for emergency responders and evacuees. "Off-duty firefighters have selflessly returned to work to staff city fire stations and continue providing fire protection to our community", the fire department said.

Several wildfires are burning across the state.

A small community south of Alpine in the Cleveland National Forest was ordered to evacuate. Despite the heat, firefighters were able to contain two major fires in coastal Monterey County. There have been 900 California Wildfires since August 15. There have been eight fire deaths and almost 3,300 structures destroyed.

The heat wave was expected to spread triple-digit temperatures over much of California through to Monday. Officials urged people to conserve electricity to ease strain on the state's power grid and to follow social distancing and mask requirements when they hit recreational areas.

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