wildfire

U.S. Forest Service

Welcome to KAZU's weekly news roundup for 6/25/21. Here you'll find the top local stories of the week and a few national stories from NPR.

Firefighting monks and emergency crews have been working to defeat a wildfire burning in the rural hills of Big Sur, Calif., since June 17.

The Willow Fire had burned 2,877 acres with just 13% of it contained as of Wednesday.

Though cooler temperatures this week helped slow the spread of the flames, local emergency services said crews are still fighting with difficult terrain that's hampering efforts to quickly contain the fire.

Doug McKnight / KAZU News

The embers of last year’s fire season in California have died out, but the memories of that horrible time are still fresh. As this year’s fire season begins, homeowners throughout the state are now looking for ways to protect their most valuable possession. 

National Weather Service

Fire season in California is now year round. That was very apparent locally when multiple fires ignited in Santa Cruz County late Monday, prompting evacuations. KAZU News reports on the weather conditions that precipitate wildfire.

Cal Fire CZU

Firefighters responded to multiple fires in Santa Cruz County Tuesday after high winds amid dry conditions. Two of the fires prompted evacuations. Those orders were lifted Wednesday.

Kevin Cooper

The rainy season is upon us here in the Monterey Bay area and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season will be accompanied with a significant risk of debris flows. KAZU News reports on the many local communities at risk.

Michelle Loxton

Wildfires can have a lasting impact on the natural environment. New life can sprout from the ashes, but some things are lost forever. To understand the long-term impacts on the Monterey Bay area, we studied three examples: a beloved park, almost extinct birds and some famous trees.

Steve Palumbi

 


Wildfire season is off to a record-breaking start in California, and the recovery will be a long process, especially for the hundreds of people on the Central Coast and throughout the state who have lost their homes.

Hannah Hagemann

When the CZU Lightning Complex Fire ripped through northern Santa Cruz County and mandatory evacuations were triggered, a patchwork of people in Bonny Doon assembled to fight the blaze. They defied orders to defend their neighborhoods.

Natalia Jessen Fleschig.

 


Emotionally spent! That’s what many residents say they’re feeling now, after days of wildfires burning across the Central Coast. Some have fled their homes after being told to "leave now." Others had to anxiously wait to see if they would be ordered to evacuate. And then there’s those who defied evacuation orders in hopes of defending their properties.    

 

The upshot of climate change is that everyone alive is destined to experience unprecedented disasters. The most powerful hurricanes, the most intense wildfires, the most prolonged heat waves and the most frequent outbreaks of new diseases are all in our future. Records will be broken, again and again.

But the predicted destruction is still shocking when it unfolds at the same time.

Erika Mahoney

With sheer precision, a farm worker harvests a row of strawberries. He tosses the bruised berries that won’t sell on the ground, the others into plastic packaging. It’s hard work, even without a pandemic and wildfires. 

 

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz evacuees
Hannah Hagemann

Progress is being made on the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. The fire is now 19% percent contained after burning over 80,100 acres, as of Wednesday morning. KAZU’s Hannah Hagemann is covering the fire, which has burned over 520 structures in Santa Cruz County so far. She spoke with KAZU’s Doug McKnight on Tuesday.

The flames from wildfires raging across Northern California did not spare Andy Pestana and Sarah Hawkins' home and farm in Vacaville, Calif., on Wednesday.

"Our barn, all of our farming equipment, our greenhouse, the house," Hawkins tells NPR's David Greene on Morning Edition.

"The house is [now] just a six-inch layer of crumbled drywall and shattered tile. And we lost all of our junior does," adds Hawkins, who is a goat breeder.

At 3 a.m. on Friday morning, biologist Kelly Sorenson was awake, nervously watching the live webcam feed of a California condor nest on the Big Sur coast. He could see a 5-month-old chick, still unable to fly, as the flames of the Dolan Fire came into view.

"It was just terrifying," Sorenson said. "Having the live-streaming webcams was both a blessing and a nightmare because we had to watch the fire as it burned through the canyon."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Red Cross

 


Not so long ago, people were told to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, thousands have been told to leave as multiple wildfires burn across the Central Coast. And because of COVID-19, emergency operations have also had to evolve. 

On a cool February morning, around 60 people gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to take part in a ceremony that, for many decades, was banned.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom offered a litany of devastating statistics Monday as hundreds of thousands of acres continue to burn across California in some of the largest wildfires in state history.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz
CHP Santa Cruz

Wildfires have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate across the Central Coast. Law enforcement officers are working overtime to protect the homes and businesses they left behind. In hard hit Santa Cruz County, looting has led multiple arrests.

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