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Monday, May 19, 2014

California's Extreme #Wildfires Raging Beyond Control?

Residents watch the wildfire near San Diego on Friday, May 16. Wildfires have devoured at least 10,000 acres in San Diego County after a high-pressure system brought unseasonable heat and gusty winds to the parched state.

'This is extreme': Wildfires strike early, hard in Southern California

By Greg Botelho, Michael Martinez, and Paul Vercammen

Carlsbad, California (CNN) – Thousands of homes, a university campus, a nuclear plant, a Legoland and parts of one of the military's biggest and busiest bases: All have been evacuated due to a rare confluence of fast-moving wildfires scorching Southern California. 

Flames from the Las Pulgas Fire light up the sky on May 16 at Camp Pendleton, California. Cal Fire Division Chief Dave Allen said nine fires have burned 9,095 acres.

The Golden State has seen many such blazes before. But these are different because they sprung up so quickly, spread so fast, and hit months before the traditional height of wildfire season, making them menacing in the short- and long-term. 

Marines move military vehicles on May 16 near the entrance to Camp Pendleton as smoke rises from the Las Pulgas wildfire burning on the base.CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray forecasts what the area might expect as the summer gives way to fall: "This is only going to get worse."

San Diego County district supervisor Bill Horn said Wednesday evening that eight fires were burning in the region, seven of which popped up that day. 

Investigators haven't yet determined the cause of these fires. But Horn hasn't seen anything like this -- so many fires, so quick, all of them separate -- in at least 20 years. That this is happening in May, not July or October, is even more confounding to him. 

"I'm sure it could be by chance," the clearly skeptical supervisor said. "… I just think there's too much of a coincidence here." […] 

A house in San Marcos burns on May 15.Carlsbad alone has issued 23,000 evacuation notices. Thousands of students won't have classes on Thursday due to the continuing threat; California State University-San Marcos canceled all activities through Friday, including commencement. Numerous roads have been shut down, while others have become clogged with people trying to escape. […] 

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Doc's Comments:
This is very early in the season so the road ahead is not promising. Add on to this that the state faces the worst drought in decades. Could they run out of water? Then there's that radioactive water coming from Japan - all too scary and frightening.
Dr. Peter G Kinesa
May 19, 2014

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