By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A wildfire burning along the eastern Sierra at the Nevada state line forced a portion of Interstate 80 to be closed Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol told the San Francisco website SFGate. I-80 remains closed in both directions up to the Nevada state line.
An alternate route around the closed portion of the highway is accessible. However, the California Highway Patrol has warned drivers that their GPS might direct them around the closure to a route that is only passable with four-wheel drive vehicles.
The fire covers 600 acres and only five percent of it is contained, fire officials said.
Authorities Are Monitoring Fire Threats and Damage
No evacuation orders are currently in effect, but patrols are monitoring several threatened structures in the Gold Ranch and Verdi Peak area of western Nevada near the California state line.
Further south, authorities are surveying damage from wildfires near Oroville, near Sacramento. They found more than 36 homes destroyed by fire so far.
At least 3,500 people remain out of their homes in southern California, where two fires raged at different ends of Santa Barbara County. The larger of the two fires has burned more than 45 square miles of dry brush and is only 15 percent contained. The fire still threatens more than 130 rural homes.
Children and Counselors Sheltered in Place until They Were Evacuated Safely
The fire started early Saturday and spread to both sides of Highway 154. It was “completely out of control,” county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. About 90 children and 50 counselors at the Circle V Ranch had to take shelter there before they could be safely evacuated.
A spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stated, “You see rapid fire growth in a lot of these fires, larger acreage consumption, which makes it very difficult to firefighters to fight.”
The fires broke out amid a heat wave that topped temperature records. California officials explained that the unusually wet winter produced thick spring blooms that are now dried and burning. This development has made for unpredictable fire behavior.
More excessive heat is predicted to continue through the weekend.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. David’s 2015 book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” was recently published in paperback by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.