As many as 17 active fires have charred over 221,000 acres in California, according to Cal Fire. Fire crews have been called upon from other states to help battle the blazes. The wildfires have taken the lives of at least 32 people and have left tens of thousands homeless. Increasing dry, wind gusts may hinder the containment of the fires, the gustiest winds will likely occur between Friday night and Saturday across Northern California.
“Winds of 15-30 mph will be enough to rapidly spread any fires that develop and those that are ongoing [in northern California],” Vido said. “Gusts between 35 and 50 mph will be possible at higher elevations.” While gusty winds from the north will blow around Santa Barbara into Friday night, Santa Ana winds from the northeast will develop on Saturday morning in Southern California and persist through the weekend.
Isolated gusts could reach 60 mph, possibly leading to sporadic power outages and tree damage. All residents in the wind-prone areas of Southern California should remain vigilant. Due to the risk of rapid wildfire spread, residents should have all necessary items, such as important documents and medications, in a bag or container near the door that can be taken in a hurry if an evacuation is issued.
Residents continue to be warned that smoke can be carried dozens of miles away from the fire sources, leading to continued poor air quality and posing a serious health risk to those outside. There may finally be some relief from the high fire danger as cooler air settles in later next week. Wet weather may even douse fire-ravaged portions of Northern California.
Devastating fires charring California have claimed more lives than any fire in the state’s history, and the economic toll is predicted to climb to $85 billion. “We estimate the California wildfires will profoundly affect the economy of California. The cost to contain and fight the fire and deal with the aftermath will be in the billions. And, the loss of tax revenue from businesses no longer around, including the vineyards; the workers who have lost their jobs and can no longer pay taxes, as well as other impacts, will be quite costly. This will create a hole in the California budget, which may necessitate an increase in taxes. If California has to borrow more this might negatively impact its bond ratings and it will have to pay higher interest rates on all borrowings, which can cost upwards of 10s of billions of dollars. At this time, we estimate the economic impact of the fires is already approaching $70 billion dollars. Based on our forecast the total costs from this disaster on the economy would exceed $85 billion and, if the fires are not contained in the next couple of weeks, the total economic impact could even reach $100 billion.”
*Featured image credit: Burned out homes are seen in the Coffey Park area Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
*Information has been taken from Accuweather. To read the full article, visit:http://www.accuweather.com.