Some evacuation orders lifted in San Bernardino County towns hit by debris flows from wildfires
The wildfires in Southern California that began in December and continued into January have devastated the landscape. Residents in the area are being warned of mandatory evacuations for some areas, and the National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings for some communities.
The fire that started in the hills of the Santa Monica Mountains has now destroyed more than 60,000 acres and forced the evacuation of over 15,000 people. About a third of that area of land is zoned residential, so residents who’ve been told they need to leave are being asked to go.
Some evacuation orders have been lifted with the conditions allowing.
The fire has been dubbed the Woolsey Fire in honor of the former Los Angeles Mayor James “Jimmy” Woolsey, who died in a plane crash in 1972.
The Woolsey Fire was moving at a very slow pace Monday afternoon and a strong line of smoke could be seen creeping up from the surrounding hills. But the fire had not reached the state line, and was expected to slow down in the evening.
The fire was about 5 percent contained in the early afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. That is the highest containment rate for a fire in the county in a year. In addition to the fire being under containment, the amount of acreage covered by fire was also the lowest it’s been since 2009, when the Kincade Fire threatened the state line.
Smoke was also rising over the town of Cathedral City after the area had been evacuated, but did not interfere with the local schools.
In the town of Ramona, the fire was 30 percent contained as of Monday night.
People are being urged to leave their homes and to find their belongings in a safe place.
“The area that we are evacuated for right now will be evacuated by Wednesday, we still don’t know how big the fire will get,” said Ramona Mayor David Brancourt. “We’re not evac