Maps show where wildfires are spreading in California

Firefighters across California are working to extinguish blazes that broke out over the weekend and continued to grow on Monday, as the state contends with a mix of hot, dry weather and powerful, gusty winds. The Post Fire, burning near Gorman, northwest of Los Angeles, spread to more than 15,600 acres, while the Point Fire, in Sonoma, covered 1,190 acres.

Officials have released a series of wildfire maps plotting their expansion. Eleven active wildfires of at least 10 acres or more were burning in California early Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

The agency has registered 1,769 wildfires in total so far this year, which have burned more than 41,900 acres and destroyed at least eight structures. No deaths have been reported in connection with the wildfires.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

Firefighters were battling multiple wildfires across California over the weekend that continued to spread on Monday, June 17, 2024. / Credit: CalFire

Northwesterly winds of 10 or 15 miles per hour — and gusting up to 55 mph around some of the worst wildfires — overlapped with an overall dip in humidity over parts of California that together created the arid and blustery conditions that allow fires to rapidly spread, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center warned in a fire weather outlook Monday morning. Meteorologists forecast elevated fire weather concerns for the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, the western Transverse Ranges and the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range — areas of concern that collectively encompass a massive chunk of California.

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A red flag warning was in effect Monday for a large section of the state, covering hundreds of square miles from the Sacramento Valley in Northern California down to Santa Barbara County and Antelope Valley in the south near Los Angeles.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

In this National Weather Service map, areas under a red flag warning are marked in pink.  / Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issues red flag warnings when the combined presence of warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds fuel an elevated risk of fire danger. Their advisory was set to remain in place for most of the warning area through at least 8 a.m. PT on Tuesday.

Another map from CalFire shows smoke and haze conditions forecast for much of California and portions of other Western states, stretching across southern Nevada and large expanses of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

This map from CalFire on June 17, 2024, shows areas affected by a smoke and haze warning colored in yellow and orange. / Credit: CalFire

Post Fire

Of the 11 largest active wildfires reported Monday by Cal Fire, the Post Fire was the most massive by far. It erupted as a brushfire on Saturday and prompted evacuations in Gorman, a rural community in northwestern Los Angeles County. By Monday morning, officials said the Post Fire had enveloped more than 15,000 acres of land in both L.A. County and neighboring Ventura, as it swept over the grassland hills of Hungry Valley State Park and moved in a southeastern direction toward Lake Pyramid.

Crews have so far managed to contain 8% of the blaze, Cal Fire said. More than 1,100 personnel from 34 different crews had been assigned to respond to it, along with 14 water tankers, 11 bulldozers, seven helicopters and hundreds of additional vehicles. Air tankers dispatched from around California were flying over the area to drop fire retardant as conditions allowed, according to Cal Fire, but the extent of the blaze was limiting visibility overhead.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

The Post Fire in Los Angeles County was the largest active wildfire reported in California on June 17, 2024.  / Credit: Cal Fire

"Crews are working to establish perimeter fire lines around the fire's edges," wrote Cal Fire in its latest status update. "Firefighters will continue working overnight to reinforce the existing perimeter on the fire's east side, as wind is expected to push the fire further south towards Pyramid Lake."

The agency noted that 1,200 people had been evacuated from Hungry Valley Park due to the wildfire and Pyramid Lake was closed as the flames headed closer to it. Cal Fire reiterated warnings from the national Weather Service of oncoming winds even more powerful than those already recorded in the region, with forecasters anticipating gusts of up to 20 mph on Monday afternoon that could potentially reach 50 mph around mountain ridges.

Craig Little, of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told CBS Los Angeles that the wind "has been a major factor" in the fire's rapid spread "along with the terrain," which is already dry.

"That's all a recipe for a very quickly moving flame," he said.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

Fire crews battle a hot spot at the Post Fire in northern Los Angeles County on Sunday, June 16, 2024 in Gorman, California. / Credit: Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Firefighters said some buildings in the area around the Post Fire were threatened Monday and two had sustained damage, but none were destroyed, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Point Fire

The Point Fire, burning through the wine country area of Sonoma, north of San Francisco, was 20% contained by midday Monday, according to Cal Fire. At the time, the blaze had spread over 1,190 acres of land extending southeast from the bottom of Lake Sonoma. Twelve crews including 400 firefighting personnel were responding to the fire on Monday, with 10 water tankers and four helicopters as well as air tankers conducting fire suppression as visibility permitted.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

Firefighters had contained 20% of the Point Fire, burning in Northern California's wine country, on Monday, June 17. / Credit: Cal Fire

Better weather conditions allowed crews to build and strengthen wildfire control lines around the perimeter of the blaze, Cal Fire said. But the agency warned that conditions on Monday could potentially allow the fire to continue to spread. By 11 a.m. PT, the Point Fire had expanded almost 100 acres since Cal Fire's previous update a few hours before.

maps show where wildfires are spreading in california

A view of flames from the Point Fire burning in Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, California, on Sunday, June 16, 2024. / Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

Hundreds of people were evacuated as the Point Fire grew quickly on Sunday, while another 4,000 residents in the area were placed under an evacuation warning, CBS San Francisco reported, citing the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. An evacuation center was established at a high school in Forestville, about 15 miles from Sonoma, according to the station.

At least one firefighter has been injured while battling the Point Fire, Cal Fire said in an incident update issued at around 6 a.m. local time Monday. The update did not give details about the nature of the injury or the circumstances surrounding it.

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