What would you do if you got a call from the state informing you you had to evacuate your house immediately?
This is the call over 80,000 people from San Bernardino County got during the week of the Blue Cut Fire. In the early morning of August 16, 2016 a fire was started from an unknown cause along Interstate 15 leading to the 20th most destructive fire in state history. At the peak of the fire, 2,684 personnel were actively fighting the fire. Unfortunately, the fire left 108 family residences and 221 outbuildings damaged or destroyed.
The fire, which burned through 36,274 acres of land in the Cajon Pass outside of San Bernardino, caused the close of Interstate 15 and Highway 138, both of which are now reopened since the end of the fire. Fortunately, the fire which was burning on shrubs and short grass is fully contained as of the 23rd of August.
Meanwhile, other fires burn in Northern California, including the Soberanes fire close to Big Sur. It is currently 60% contained and fire crews working in the area estimate it to not be fully contained until the end of September. Since this fire is much closer to Santa Cruz County, people from this area have even been getting affected by the smoke. Simone Sutton, a ninth grader at SLVHS, said, “The smoke from the current fire is so strong, when I was at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my friends, you could not see the ocean and it looked like fog.”
The Soberanes fire was caused by an illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park that got out of hand. It has since burned 94,180 acres of land as of August 30th. 1,230 firefighters are working to keep it contained and from doing more damage to the environment.
The evacuation warning is for a small section of Monterey County, but earlier, much of the surrounding area was asked to leave their homes to stay out of harm’s way. The fire has been burning since July 22nd and thus far, 400 homes are in danger with 57 destroyed and one fatality.
By Katherine McCormick