Los Angeles firefighters are hoping that both hot weather and gusty winds ease up as they battle the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history. The 5,900 “La Tuna Canyon” fire is ravaging areas near the area of the Verdugo Mountains, which is located just north of downtown Los Angeles. The wind has been especially vital in fueling this massive wildfire, something firefighters hope slow down. Please refer to my how to survive a wildfire guide for more information on wildfire survival.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a local emergency and has requested that California governor, Jerry Brown, declare a full-on state of emergency. The fire has already shut down a portion of the busy 210 freeway and burned down a few homes. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate, according to the LATimes. Also, two firefighters were treated for symptoms of dehydration. Massive wildfires are a huge reason to always have a bug out bag ready to go. Hopefully, these people did. Police were seen driving up the streets of Burbank yelling to residents, “now it’s mandatory, get your things and go.”
Another reason the La Tuna fire has been able to swell to such a large status is due to an ongoing heat wave in the region. Temperatures in the area have hovered around 94 degrees, local forecast are predicting that drops by about 4 or 5 degrees today. Remaining effects from Tropical Storm Lydia could hit the region as well and cause showers and potential lightning. Wind gusts of up to 12 mph could occur, as well.
So far, we know that the La Tuna fire is only 10% contained. Evacuations for some Burbank residents were placed on hold yesterday, allowing people to remain in their residence and hopefully accomplish a few additional prepper tasks. The fire began abruptly on Friday with winds shooting the flames in a series of unpredictable directions, which fueled its growth. The fire was impossible to contain on all sides.
As of today, LA County firefighters say that 1,000 firefighters will be on the scene today, a number that was around 500 when the fire started. The fire jumped the 210 freeway which caused the closure of one of LA’s main thoroughfares. About 75% of the La Tuna fire is burning on the south side of the 210 freeway.
At this point, the forecast simply isn’t predictable enough to remain in any home that is near the fire. Wildfires are one of the most dangerous catastrophes that mother nature can throw at us. Even if the flames don’t get you, the inhalation of smoke can place you in imminent danger. Having an N95 Mask is an essential item for any prepper. This is something that belongs in every bug out bag no matter where you live.
One of the most captivating images captures of the La Tuna fire was posted by a twitter user named Liz. We aren’t sure if she took it, but the image is both terrifying and amazing.
Firefighters are battling the ravaging flames with everything they have. It is important that all people in mandatory evacuation zones get out now. By hesitating, you put not only your own life at risk, but you risk the lives of first responders and fire fighters. LA County fire fighters, as well as fire fighters from other counties, need space to battle the fire. Nothing is so important that it is worth putting your life at risk. Wildfires are deadly, the sweep across neighborhoods and fields with incredibly terrifying speed. You can’t depend on wind forecast, particularly with remnants of Tropical Storm Lydia creating unstable weather patterns. It is important to evacuate.
If you are not being mandatorily evacuated, always use common sense. If it seems unsafe, it probably is. There is nothing wrong with evacuating by your own accord. For others in the region, now is a good time to put a bug out plan into effect. Understand how and where you’d evacuate. Having a plan is the first step in survival. If you have a family, you have to account for more than just you. If you do have the time to gather important documents, pictures, cash and other important belongings, do so now so that if and when you are forced to evacuate, you can easily get meaningful items from your home.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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