A massive wild fire that started last Wednesday in Northern California grew quickly to 60,000 acres Monday, according to California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) website. So far, it’s only 12 percent contained.
The so-called Rocky Fire has destroyed at least 24 homes in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties northwest of Sacramento, shutting major roads and forcing at least 12,000 residents around the area to evacuate their homes. The CAL FIRE site said at least 2,900 firefighters have been working to stop the fire in the rough terrain.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. But with California’s ongoing drought in its fourth year, the grass and trees are extremely dry with low humidity and no rain. Most of California’s blazes were sparked by lightening, or “dry thunderstorms,” which are lightening and wind with little to no rain.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Saturday in the wake of the wild fires in California, saying the drought and lowest winter snowpack have “turned much of the state into a tinderbox.” In April, the state ordered mandatory water restrictions due to the unyielding climate.