Close to 32 homes have fallen victim to a wildfire in Northern California officials stated. A fire information officer, Capt. Tom Piranio stated that ten residences and around 22 other buildings were destroyed by the now named King Fire. These figures are preliminary and more assessing of the damage is to continue once conditions for safety are available.
The fire created smoke to the point that the Ironman Triathlon, a popular sporting event had to be canceled. The event is held near Lake Tahoe.
The inferno spread quickly and grew to 128 square miles or more. The King Fire is located near Sacramento, the state’s capital about 60 miles east of the city. Over 2,800 people are not allowed to return to their homes and the fire is only ten percent contained so far. Only around one hundred people have been allowed to return to their residences.
One suspect has been detained regarding starting the fire but he so far has plead not guilty. He is being held on ten million dollars bail. Wayne Allen Huntsman, a 37 year old man is the prime suspect regarding arson.
The fire so far has spread to an estimated size of 80,000 acres. Fire officials hope that thunderstorms can help battle the blaze or if things don’t turn out right the storms could hamper firefighting efforts. Over a half a million gallons of fire retardant was deployed by firefighters and over 200,000 gallons of the same substance was dropped in one day on the raging inferno. The strategy of dropping the fire retardant is to give fire crews time to get into the affected areas and create fire lines with digging.
One of nine wildfires going on in California right now, the King Fire is being fed by dry and hot conditions and also by the drought that has broken records as well.
The sheer magnitude of the King Fire is not to be underestimated. It is a major hazard that could spell even greater disaster should firefighters not gain the upperhand soon. Authorities are certain that the fire was set and a suspect in custody. To add to the problem is that the fire is in terrain that is steep and formidable. Even citizens are chipping in to fight the blaze by digging fire lines and helping fire crews. Of note is the University of California, Berkley’s research station that is under threat of the King Fire. The complex has numerous wildlife and plants at the location. Also under the gun are hydroelectric plants and power lines that feed vital electricity and water to Sacramento and the surrounding region.