State of Emergency declared in California over fast-moving wildfires
LOS ANGELES, July 26 (Xinhua) -- California's Governor Jerry Brown declared Thursday a state of emergency in two counties in Southern California due to fast moving fires in the western U.S. state.
Brown issued emergency proclamations for Riverside and Shasta counties due to the effects of the fires, dubbed the Cranston and Carr fires, which have destroyed homes and structures, threatened critical infrastructure and caused the evacuation of residents.
High temperature, low humidity, and erratic winds have further increased the spread of the fires, according to the statement of Brown.
The circumstances of the fires, "by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat," read the statement.
The Cranston Fire erupted around noon on Wednesday in the San Jacinto Mountains in the Riverside County, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. It exploded to around 4,700 acres with only 5 percent containment as of Thursday noon, according to the latest update from the U.S. Forest Service.
At least 3,000 people were asked to evacuate more than 2,000 homes in the area.
Law enforcement officers said they arrested Brandon N. McGlover, 32 of Temecula for allegedly setting multiple fires, including the Cranston Fire, in southwest Riverside County Wednesday.
Another wildfire, the Carr fires, has burned 20,000 acres with only 10 percent containment in the Shasta County as of Thursday noon. The fire became very active overnight with a significant increase in size. Firefighters will be working throughout the day to reinforce containment lines and constructing new line around the fire.
Weather forecasters predict continued high temperatures and low humidity this week conducive to even more fires, adding to the difficulty of firefighters in Southern California.