Weekend storms could be a mixed blessing for crews battling California’s largest wildfire.
With its headwaters in the remote high desert of southern California, the Rim Fire is now among the most destructive wildfires in recorded history, torching more than 90,000 acres on the southern edge of Yosemite National Park and prompting major evacuations.
Fire officials said the blaze is now nearly 50 percent contained and that the blaze is unlikely to become a catastrophic wildfire that threatens lives or property for the next three weeks.
However, the blaze could still have a devastating impact. In fact, some firefighters have called it the worst fire on record for its potential to threaten human life.
“The fire has the potential to burn more than 20,000 houses and businesses in the greater San Francisco Bay Area,” according to a California wildfire report issued by the U.S. Forest Service. “In addition to the homes and businesses in this area, the Rim fire has the potential to affect many more homes and businesses and potentially burn down the entire city of Oakland.”
Rim Fire Updates:
The Rim Fire has scorched the southern flank of the El Dorado National Forest, threatening dozens of structures and forcing the evacuation of as many as 400 residents in Kern County alone.
A total of 24,000 fire personnel have so far been called out to battle the fire, and the number is expected to rise as winds have increased over the last 24 hours, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
In a news release, the Forest Service said the Rim Fire could produce “catastrophic fire behavior” during the next three weeks, as hot and dry temperatures continue to drive winds across the region.
The fire is now only six percent contained, but the firefighters who continue to battle the fire have described the fire as “on edge,” with winds continuing to blow at a rate of 25 to 30 mph over the last couple of days.
Firefighters on the ground are continuing to push the fire out as aggressively