Fire Destroys At Least 20 Mansions Off California Coast | World

A fire has destroyed at least 20 mansions in an upscale area of ​​California, and more than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze in the region.

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The coastal fire started Wednesday afternoon in an area about 80 km south of Los Angeles.

  • Wildfire turns historic California town to ash
  • California fire is second worst in state history

Images on social media show the rapid advance of the fire, which consumed the mansions and vegetation on the hills, as well as dense columns of smoke.

Firefighter at home in California on May 11, 2022 — Photo: Mario Tama//Getty Images via AFP

Powered by the wind coming from the Pacific Ocean, the flames advanced over about 80 hectares of vegetation. Residents of about 1,000 dwellings had to be evacuated. In this residential area, homes are valued in millions of dollars.

The size of the homes also contributed to the fire’s spread, said Lisa Bartlett, an Orange County employee.

“Given the size of the houses, there’s a lot of combustible material that burns fast, and then the wind reignites the flames that spread from house to house,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy pointed out that the spread of the fire shows that, due to severe drought, the region is vulnerable to fires year round, not just in the months of the so-called fire season. The same is true of much of the western United States.

“It’s sad to say that we’re used to it; the wind is normal, what we’ve seen is a spread that we haven’t seen before — fire spreads rapidly in this very dry vegetation,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Southern California Edison, the local electrical company, reported activity on circuits to regional authorities at the same time the fire was reported.

Despite being common in the American West, fires are increasingly intense due to global warming, caused by human action and the consumption of fossil energy, which exacerbates chronic drought.

The average summer temperature in California, on the west coast of the country, is 1.6ºC higher than that recorded at the end of the 19th century.

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