CALIFORNIA—Rampant wildfires continue to rage across the west coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington.
The worst of the fires have hit the Northern California region, where the Rocky Fire in Lake County has burned an estimated 62,000 acres as of Monday evening; it is only 12 percent contained. The exact cause of that fire is still unknown and currently under investigation by officials.
At least 20 wildfires have broken out all over the state. So far, dozens of homes and buildings have been destroyed and thousands of people threatened or relocated. The strength and speed of the fires have been increased by high winds as well as the dry conditions created by the extreme drought that California has been subject to for several years now.
More than 2,700 firefighters from all over the nation have been deployed to contain the fires. A total of 43 of those firefighters have been recruited from the Los Angeles Fire Department, including 8 from the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Santa Monica. Those teams left for action early Monday morning.
The fires have popped up as far south as Ojai and Sherman Oaks. A smaller fire by the 15 freeway in the Cajon Pass was sparked as a result of a tour bus crash on Saturday that left a California Highway Patrol officer injured.
Despite the breakout of the southland fires, the firefighters sent up north are expected to stay put for the time being.
This past weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and activated the California National Guard, a federally funded military force.
The Frog Fire in the Modoc National Forest has claimed the only fatality of the fires so far. U.S. Forest Service Firefighter and engine captain David Ruhl of South Dakota was battling the fire about 100 miles south of the Oregon border when he lost his life.
Ruhl was honored in a procession earlier today from Alturas to the Smoky Mountains.