Over 42,000 acres of land in southern California has been destroyed in the last 5 days as a result of several wildfires. Two fires remain active as firemen are still working to contain them.
On 13 November the Tea Fire started in Santa Barbara County, near Montecito and burned a total of 1,940 acres. As of Tuesday, 18 November the Tea Fire is 100 percent contained.
On 14 November the Sayre Fire started in Los Angeles County in Sylmar and has burnt a total of 11,207 acres to date. As of Tuesday, 18 November the fire is 64 percent contained.
The third and largest fire, which started on 15 November in Riverside County has burnt a total of 28,889 acres and has spread into Orange County. As of Tuesday, 18 November this fire is 60 percent contained.
The cause of all of the fires is under investigation and it may take some time before fire investigations reveal this information. However, fires at this time of year are not unusual, falling just behind the ‘peak’ of the wildfire season in October, a time when many of the most notorious California wildfires have occurred, including the 2007 and 2003 southern California outbreaks and the Oakland Hills Wildfires in 1991.
The driving force for the initial rapid spread of the fires was the onset of the Santa Ana Winds combined with warm temperatures (between 90-94 F) and low humidity that kicked in last week.