Yosemite now under threat as hot, dry air blows devastating California wildfires further upstate

Thursday, December 14, 2017
By Paul Martin

The Thomas Fire now spread into national forest land north-west of Los Angeles
Warning in place stretching from Long Beach into the Sierra range to Yosemite
Cal Fire says high pressure off coast ‘acting like a giant dry air pump’ for blaze
Fire has already burned at least 372 square miles and destroyed 921 700 homes

14 December 2017

Warnings of extreme fire danger have been extended to much of southern California and Yosemite National Park as winds pick up in the dry conditions.

Firefighters made some progress on in corralling the so-called Thomas Fire, which has spread into national forest land north west of Los Angeles.

But Cal Fire has now issued a red flag warning that the fire would continue to spread west as it eats up parched brush.

The warning area encompasses a wide stretch from Long Beach to Santa Barbara and then heads north toward Bakersfield and into the Sierra range to Yosemite.

Cal Fire spokesperson Jordan Motta told SF Gate said the face ‘that there’s no forecasted rain is still something that’s keeping us on edge and we’re remaining vigilant. The potential is still there to have fires especially in areas with brush.’

‘When you have the conditions like we’re observing right now with high-pressure parked off the coast and a low-pressure system to the east, all of that is acting like a giant dry air pump and it’s pumping all the dry air into Southern California.

‘Typically this is more of a late fall weather pattern. It’s somewhat atypical in December, but it can obviously happen as it is now.

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