Getty Fire Breaks out in Los Angeles, Adding to California’s Fire Woes
Yet another wildfire has ignited in California as the state battles wind-driven blazes that have forced nearly 200,000 from their homes and left around a million without power due to preventative outages, CNN reported Tuesday.
The Getty Fire sparked at around 1:30 a.m. Monday near Los Angeles' Getty Center, the Los Angeles Times reported. It has since burned more than 600 acres and prompted evacuation orders for around 10,000 structures, including Mount St. Mary's University.
The around 600 firefighters battling the blaze faced the added challenge of strong Santa Ana winds, which carried some embers a mile ahead of the rest of the fire.
Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas told the Los Angeles Times that firefighters were "literally overwhelmed."
"They had to make some tough decisions on which houses they were able to protect. Many times, it depends upon where the ember lands," he said.
The fire has damaged six homes and destroyed eight, according to the most recent update from the LAFD. It is now five percent contained.
10/28/19 6:00 PM #GettyFire #wildfire Evening Update #BrushFire; SB 405 Fwy x Sepulveda Bl; #LosAngeles#Mountaingate community has transitioned to #Evacuation Warning status. SB 405 Freeway open, except offramps NB & SB 101 to Sunset— LAFD (@LAFD) October 29, 2019
Details: 🔗https://t.co/33iqXYAKwJ pic.twitter.com/8OV28Yf9pP
The fire broke out in a wealthy area home to many celebrities, CNN reported. Los Angeles Lakers basketball player LeBron James, actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Clark Greg all tweeted that they had evacuated, Reuters reported.
James shared his difficulty finding a place to stay.
"Had to emergency evacuate my house and I've been driving around with my family trying to get rooms. No luck so far!" he wrote.
Man these LA 🔥 aren’t no joke. Had to emergency evacuate my house and I’ve been driving around with my family trying to get rooms. No luck so far! 🤦🏾♂️— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2019
Later, he tweeted that he had found accommodation.
Finally found a place to accommodate us! Crazy night man!— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 28, 2019
But the city's less affluent residents had a very different experience: Many landscapers and housekeepers who work in the evacuation zone turned up to their jobs as normal Monday, either unaware of the evacuations or unwilling to miss a day's wages, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Staff writer Brittny Mejia spoke to 72-year-old gardner Teofilo López, who was raking leaves in the yard of an evacuated home. Mejia asked him if he was scared.
"What can I do?" he answered. "I need the money, I need to work."
Meanwhile, in Northern California, the Kincade Fire continues to rage. It has now burned 74,324 acres, destroyed 123 structures and is 15 percent contained, according to a Monday evening update from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Two first responders were hospitalized because of burns, CNN reported. All told, fires in Sonoma County have forced 190,000 to flee their homes, according to Reuters.
The high winds driving the fires have also prompted utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to shut off power to 965,000 customers to prevent more fires, CNN reported. Around 587,000 of those customers still did not have power Monday evening. An additional 240,000 to 600,000 customers could have their power switched off Tuesday when another wind event is predicted.
Despite the outages, PG&E may be the immediate cause of the Kincade Fire. One of its 230,000-volt transmission lines had a malfunction right before the fire ignited, The Guardian explained.
The climate crisis is also encouraging the conditions that fuel California's wildfires and making the fire season longer.
"[W]hile wildfires are a natural part of California's landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend," Cal Fire said, according to The Guardian.
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People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>