Cal Fire, American Red Cross still dealing with summer aftermath while wildfire season hits fall

Wildfire Watch

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — While the Red Flag Warnings continue into autumn, the recovery from some of the fires that burned during the summer is still taking place.

Cal Fire and the American Red Cross told FOX40 they still have their hands full dealing with the aftermath of fires that destroyed thousands of homes.

“In the last 24 hours, the Alpine Meadows weather station clocked a gust of 94 miles an hour. These are hurricane-like winds, Category 1 hurricane winds,” said Cal Fire Assistant Deputy Director Daniel Berlant.

Berlant said the state is still dealing with nearly 20 fires, which started burning back in August and September.

“Many of these fires are nearing containment, over 90% in many cases. But over 4,000 firefighters are still on the front lines of those fires from several months ago, working to mop them up,” Berlant explained.

Berlant said so far in 2020, more than 9,000 wildfires across the state have burned more than 4.1 million acres.

“And really we’re just now in the peak of this season. Historically, it’s September and October when we experience our largest and our most damaging wildfires,” Berlant said.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross said it’s still dealing with hundreds who have already lost their homes in Northern California earlier this fire season.

“We have currently about 475 people put up in 23 different hotels throughout Northern California,” said Steve Walsh of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

Walsh said the organization needs donations to help those victims, as well as future victims the rest of the wildfire season might bring.

“And the money can be designated towards the wildfire response specifically, if they choose,” Walsh said.

As more fires ignite in the south and the north, Berlant said Cal Fire knows there’s still a lot of work for firefighters left to do.

“Don’t let the calendar fool you, we are still well in fire season,” Berlant said. “Months and months and months without any rainfall. The grass, the brush, even the trees, they’re tinder dry and so it doesn’t take much for a fire to ignite. You add the winds to it, then these fires are burning very rapidly over the last couple of days.”

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