New fire in California threatens thousands of residents

A new fire in California threatens thousands of residents

This brush fire of several hundred hectares killed two people and destroyed several homes in California.

At least two people died Tuesday in California and thousands more have been asked to evacuate their homes due to a new large fire in the Los Angeles area, which is currently experiencing a brutal heat wave.

Another person was burned and had to be hospitalized, according to the provisional report communicated by the firefighters, who asked the inhabitants of more than 3,000 homes to evacuate their homes, while the authorities feared having to come to an end. power cuts, the electricity network bending under demand.

Several buildings were also destroyed by this fire which started on Monday near the town of Hemet in the south-east of Los Angeles and has already ravaged more than 1600 hectares. Nearby schools have been closed.

Burnt vehicles on Fairview fire-damaged property near Hemet.

The The fire spread very quickly before firefighters even arrived on the scene, a fire department spokesperson explained on Twitter.

An investigation has been opened to determine the origin of the fire. Meanwhile, utility Southern California Edison reported circuit activity in the area around the time the fire started.

The company has had to pay billions of dollars in the past for causing California fires, sometimes fatal, because of its failing infrastructure. It is committed to renovating its aging power lines by cutting surrounding vegetation and burying the cables to reduce the risk of fire starting.

The brush fire killed two people and destroyed several houses.

This fire comes as California faces, like parts of Nevada and Arizona, another day of extreme temperatures.

A heat dome has settled over the region, pushing the mercury to soar to 43°C in some places, and the phenomenon is expected to continue through Thursday. Meteorologists expect temperature records to be broken this week.

Coupled with the devastating drought that has plagued the American West for two decades, this brutal heat creates the perfect conditions for starting fires.

Last week, another fire, dubbed Route Fire, had already destroyed several thousand acres in the Los Angeles hinterland.

This heat wave also causes disturbances on the Californian electrical network. Its regulator, California ISO, has issued several alerts asking households to limit consumption from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to avoid saturation.

The sun shines behind power lines during a heat wave in Hawthorne, California.

Californiaians are therefore asked to avoid charging their electric vehicles during this time slot, not to set the air conditioning below 25.5°C and to refrain from using their main equipment energy consumers.

Despite these exceptional measures, California ISO does not rule out having to resort to localized power cuts, given the exceptional temperatures expected on Tuesday.

As California faces the day the hottest of this record-breaking heatwave, the condition of the network will worsen, the regulator said in a statement.

If necessary, ISO may order suppliers to carry out rotating power cuts [controlled and distributed over different areas, editor's note] to maintain the stability of the electricity network, he added.

During the daytime, all solar panels typically provide one-third of the electricity in California. But, at nightfall, the supply of photovoltaic energy is abruptly interrupted, leaving the other sources of electricity to take over, which poses a problem in the early evening, when the day's heat has yet to die down, pushing demand through air conditioning.

Last week, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom temporarily lifted restrictions so that fossil-fuelled power plants could produce more.

Scientists say repeated heat waves are a clear marker of global warming – and these heat waves are set to multiply, lengthen and intensify further.

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