Shifting winds and increased humidity have helped firefighters make progress against a blaze burning in rugged mountains near California’s Big Sur coast, authorities said.
As the drought-stricken state burns, more and more firefighters are being asked to trade their normal routine of house fires and car wrecks for raging infernos tearing through rural communities.
Microscopic toxic compounds cause most of wildfires’ bad health effects, said a professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Washington. “If you’re seeing the big particles like those covering your car, absolutely there will also be the more dangerous particulate matter.”
The Bond Fire threatened homes in Orange County early Thursday and brought the smell of smoke to Long Beach.
Although the twin fires were burning about 30 miles away, the strong winds that drove the blazes through brushy Orange County hills also carried smoke to Long Beach, prompting authorities to warn residents to stay inside as much as possible.
With the smell of California wildfires in the air, President Donald Trump on Monday ignored the scientific consensus that climate change is playing a central role in historic West Coast infernos.
According to air-quality data from IQAir, Long Beach could experience hazardous air conditions on Saturday and unhealthy levels into next week.
Residents who can see or smell smoke should avoid unnecessary outdoor activities.
Firefighters arrived within minutes and the distraught couple told them what happened and provided their own photos and video to aid the investigation.
Strong winds fanned new fires in the Inland Empire on Thursday, burning homes and forcing residents to flee.