Southern California welcomes cooler temperatures and spotty rain as a tropical storm veers off the Pacific Coast, helping put an end to a blistering heatwave that nearly overwhelmed the US state’s electrical grid.
A tropical storm off the Pacific Coast has brought cooler temperatures and much needed rain to Southern
California, ending a scorching heatwave and easing
fears that a massive wildfire could threaten more residents.
Officials had warned that high winds from the remnants of
Tropical Storm Kay could fan the flames of the Fairview Fire,
which as of Friday had consumed nearly 11,000 hectares in Riverside
County, east of Los Angeles, and was only 5 percent contained.
rain from the storm on Saturday, meanwhile, raised the possibility of flash
flooding and mudslides.
But steady rain helped firefighters make significant
progress overnight, according to Rob Roseer, a spokesperson for Cal
Fire, the state’s firefighting agency.
As of 10:50 am (1750
GMT), the fire was 40 percent contained, and there were no reports of
flash flooding or debris flows, Roseer said.
“Thankfully, the rain from Tropical Storm Kay came through
earlier than expected and provided a lot of relief for
firefighters,” he said.
Expanding Mosquito Fire
Thousands of residents have been ordered to leave their
homes, though some people who live west and northwest of the
fire have been allowed to return since Friday, Roseer said. Two
people have died as a result of the fire.
The Mosquito Fire east of the state capital of Sacramento
continued expanding overnight, however. As of Saturday morning,
the blaze had burned through more than 13,000 hectares and was 0 percent contained, Cal Fire said.
Highs in southern California were mostly expected to stay
under 32 degrees Celsius, according to
forecasters, after days of oppressive heat across much of the
state. Temperatures hit a record 101 degrees at Los Angeles
International Airport on Friday, the National Weather Service
Officials had considered implementing rolling electricity outages earlier in the week, when power demand hit an all-time high.