PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Northern California has seen some of the most destructive fires in the state’s history this summer, and the threat may not be over.
“You know, it looks like a moonscape,” said Greg Lundquist, who lives near the Bridge Fire.
Lundquist surveyed the destruction left behind by the Bridge Fire in the Auburn State Recreation Area, a place he frequents.
The fire started just after noon on Sunday, sending thick smoke into the sky and leading the Placer County Sheriff’s Office to issue evacuation orders. About 500 people from neighboring communities were affected by the orders.
The nearby Foresthill Bridge is now open after having also been closed.
“It’s always devastating because it’s like life and death, and this just looks like death,” Lundquist told FOX40.
While the Bridge Fire was small in size compared to the Caldor and Dixie fires, which have been responsible for the destruction of more than 2,000 structures, it did leave a path of destruction. The fire left a hillside off Foresthill Road scorched with blackened terrain.
Cal Fire says Californians should expect more destructive fires in the coming months if conditions do not improve.
“We are definitely on pace to where we were last year, which was the record of the most acres burned and one of the most destructive fire seasons in California history,” said Cal Fire Assistant Deputy Director Daniel Berlant. “Historically, it is September and October when we experience our largest and our most damaging wildfires. And so, unfortunately, we still have many more months of peak fire season ahead of us.”
Berlant said Californians should be prepared for the next big fire.
“These fires do not burn like they maybe did 10 years ago, they’re very fast-moving. Early evacuation, early preparedness: those are the critical messages right now,” Berlant said.
In the meantime, Lundquist hopes Mother Nature will help out.
“Rain – we had a little bit of rain last night. We can use some more,” Lundquist said.