California's 'Post Fire' Grows as Residents Told to 'Leave Now'

california's 'post fire' grows as residents told to 'leave now'

The Post Fire burns through Castaic, California, June 16, 2024. The fire has grown to 12,265 acres, and continues to move southeast of Pyramid Lake, according to the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service at Angeles National Forest. The "Post Fire" grows as residents are told to leave.

As California's first major wildfire of the season continues to burn across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, residents in one city are being told to "leave now".

The city of Santa Clarita sent out an announcement on Monday for an evacuation order on X, formerly Twitter, warning residents to leave the area as soon as possible.

"Post Incident Update as of 2:15 p.m.:

An EVACUATION ORDER has been issued for the area south of Pyramid Lake, west of the 5-freeway, east of the County line, and just north of the Templin Highway. Anyone in the area including Oak Flats Campground should LEAVE NOW."

The "Post Fire," which ignited near Gorman on Saturday afternoon, has already consumed over 15,610 acres and is only 8 percent contained, according to the latest reports from Cal Fire.

The fire's rapid spread has been fueled by strong winds, with gusts reaching speeds of over 50 miles per hour over the weekend. "More than anything, the firefighters are challenged with the strong winds," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Kenichi Haskett. These powerful winds have carried embers more than a mile away, igniting new flames and complicating containment efforts.

The Post Fire has already left a trail of destruction in its wake, with one commercial property destroyed and 10 other structures threatened. Additionally, 50 homes are at risk, prompting evacuations for more than 1,200 people from the Hungry Valley SVRA recreation area and surrounding communities in the Grapevine area.

As the fire continues to rage, residents in nearby Castaic have been urged to prepare for the worst. "If you're in a warning area, be prepared with a 'go bag,' with overnight clothes and your cellphone, your medicines, your glasses. Have your car fueled up," Haskett advised. "Be ready to evacuate."

The challenges facing firefighters are immense, with the strong winds hampering their efforts to control the flames. "When it's windy, it just sprays the water everywhere we don't need it. So that's a challenge," Haskett explained.

The Post Fire's rapid growth has made it the largest wildfire in California so far this year, and the situation remains precarious. The extreme heat and dry conditions that have plagued the southwest this spring have left vegetation primed for ignition, creating a tinderbox that could fuel further spread.

In addition to the Post Fire, firefighters are also battling another blaze in Sonoma County, which has burned at least 15,000 acres and forced hundreds to evacuate. The Point Fire, which began near Lake Sonoma, has triggered a red flag warning in the area, and some buildings have already fallen victim to the flames.

As California's fire season gets underway, residents are being urged to stay informed and prepared. With challenging weather conditions expected to persist in the coming weeks, it is crucial that those in affected areas remain alert and ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.

More than 1,200 firefighters are currently on the ground, working tirelessly to contain the Post Fire and protect lives and property.

Despite their efforts, the battle is far from over, with strong winds and hot temperatures expected to continue in the coming days. "Our goal is hopefully to be done within the week," Haskett told The New York Times, but the uncertainty of the situation means that residents must remain vigilant.

For those in affected areas, the message is clear: stay informed, stay prepared, and be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.

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