Tropical Storm Kay could intensify California’s Fairview Fire

West

A bulldozer works to build a fire line on wildfire in Castaic, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(NewsNation) — Firefighters struggling to control the deadly and destructive Fairview Fire in Southern California faced a new threat Friday as Tropical Storm Kay brought forth gusty winds and a surge of moisture.

After erupting due to triple-digit heat Monday, the Fairview Fire has already managed to expand in two directions, covering more than 30 square miles — 27,000 acres — of Riverside County, killing two people who were found in a vehicle Thursday.

Only 5% was contained by day’s end.

As of Friday, firefighters were worried that gusts from Storm Kay could push the fire west, casting embers far ahead and igniting new blazes.

“If it rains here, that’s good. If the hurricane weather stays to the east of us, all we’re gonna do is get down drafts from them or from that hurricane and it’s gonna cause havoc here on our fire,” Capt. Richard Cordova, a Cal Fire spokesperson, said to NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Friday.  

“I have a 9-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter and it hurts to see my kids say ‘mom, all my stuff’s gone’ within a matter of about 20 minutes. It went from seeing smoke over the mountain to the flames in my neighbor’s yard,” said Tiffany Huertas, who was caught in the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation

Approximately 24,000 people are under evacuation orders and about a dozen homes have been lost to the Fairview Fire. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared states of emergency in Riverside, Eldorado and Placer counties, where crews are fighting the Mosquito Fire.

Throughout the West, there are nearly 100 active large fires. The hope is that the rain this weekend will help with containment, and prevent new fires from starting.

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