Two dead, thousands had to flee California wildfires – Times of India


LOS ANGELES: At least two people are dead and thousands have been ordered to flee a rapidly expanding fire in Californiawith the oppressive heat wave in the region expected to peak on Tuesday.
Several buildings were destroyed when the Fairview fire broke out southeast of Los Angeles, rushing to consume 2,400 acres (1,000 hectares) in less than 24 hours.
According to the fire service, two people have died in the fire and one person has been hospitalized with burns.
More than 3,000 homes have to be evacuated and all local schools have been closed.
The fire spread “very quickly before the fire service arrived,” a local fire spokesman said on Twitter.
California is in the midst of a savage heat wave, with temperatures reaching 110 Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in several areas.
That, combined with a two-decade drought that has left the countryside tinder-dry, creates ideal conditions for explosive wildfires. The heat hit the state last week, as well as parts of neighboring Arizona and Nevada, and is expected to last through about Thursday.
The California Independent System Administrator (ISO), which manages the state’s electrical grid, has issued several consecutive “Flex Alerts.”
These call on households to limit power consumption between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. to avoid overloading the overloaded system.
That usually means raising the thermostat of air conditioning systems, avoiding the use of large appliances, and not charging electric vehicles during this time.
But California ISO president Elliot Mainzer warned Monday that an incredibly hot Tuesday would put even more pressure on the network and called on consumers to redouble their efforts.
“This is an extraordinary heat event that we are experiencing, and the efforts of consumers to lean in after 4 p.m. and reduce their energy consumption are absolutely essential,” Mainzer said.
“Over the past few days, thanks to everyone’s help, we have seen a positive effect on lowering demand, but now we need a reduction in energy consumption that is two or three times greater than what we have seen so far, as these historic heat wave continues. intensify.”
California has abundant solar installations, including on homes, that typically provide about a third of the state’s daylight power needs.
But when the sun goes down, that supply drops quickly, forcing the traditional generation to close the gap. The problem is especially acute in the early evening when temperatures are still high, but solar power is starting to fall out of the energy mix.
Scientists say global warming, which is primarily driven by humanity’s uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels, is making natural weather variations more extreme.
Heat waves get hotter and more intense, while storms get wetter and in many cases more dangerous.

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