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Illustration by Security Management

Storms Worsen Wildfires Across California

More than 18 wildfires are currently burning across California after lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm sparked several new small blazes in northern California and stoked a huge blaze called the Lake Fire, which threatens more than 4,500 buildings in the area around the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles.

Lightning strikes and 15 mph winds pushed the flames uphill on Sunday, compounding the challenges facing firefighters, according to the Associated Press. Triple-digit temperatures across the state over the weekend further hampered firefighting efforts.

The fires, high heat, and unusual weather patterns produced a series of fire tornadoes—cyclones made of smoke and flames—in Lassen County, California, on Saturday, exacerbating the Loyalton Fire near the Nevada border, Washington Post reports.

As of 16 August, the Lake Fire has burned more than 18,000 acres since it began on 12 August, and it is only 12 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) .

Other fires started yesterday include the Canyon Zone Fire (3,000 acres), the River Fire (2,800 acres), the Marsh Fire (850 acres), the Elk Fire (727 acres), and the Deer Zone Fires (400 acres).

So far, there have been no fatalities attributed to this year’s California wildfires, although 67 structures have been damaged or destroyed, CAL FIRE said. According to current statistics, from 1 January through 9 August 2020, there have been more than 5,000 wildfires and more than 94,000 acres burned in California. For comparison, over the same period in 2019, there were more than 3,000 fires and 25,000 acres affected.

As wildfires become more frequent and more destructive, organizations are facing business continuity planning challenges. Organizations will need to assess employees’ physical safety, ability to access the workplace, and emotional availability for work. Read more in Security Management's Volatile Wildfires Require More Nimble Continuity Planning.”