Because certain parts of the Verdugo Mountains near Los Angeles haven’t burned in 30 years or more, the brush has really built up, and with very hot temperatures, that brush only serves as tinder for wildfires.
Residents in about 700 homes had to be evacuated, although only a few of those homes have been burned down so far and no injuries have been reported, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“Our priority is saving people and saving property,” Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said at a September 2 press conference. As a precaution, officials closed a stretch of Interstate 210, but the freeway was reopened a day or so later.
In the week prior, temps in Los Angeles had been in the high 90s and low 100s. The “La Tuna fire,” as this one has been dubbed, burned more than 7,000 acres and caused both Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Gov Jerry Brown to declare states of emergency, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cooler temps and even a few showers helped firefighters get the blaze under control, and all evacuation orders were lifted.
From a South Coast Air Quality Management District alert issued September 2:
Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one and keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. … Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. To avoid worsening the health effects of smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.