Numerous wildfires have formed this weekend across parts of the southwestern U.S.. That includes the Aliso Fire in southern California. It formed Saturday near Laguna Beach, prompting the immediate evacuation of about 1500 residents potentially at risk. The 200 acre fire thankfully became no threat to people later on in the day when officials canceled the evacuation order Saturday evening. Despite this, the fire is still slowly growing as over 400 firefighters battle the blaze. Fire officials tweeted that crews “will remain throughout the night and day [Sunday].” They expect to “make good progress with little to no wind.”
Fires are also an issue in parts of Colorado. The 416 fire is the most expansive in the state, burning over 1100 acres so far in La Plata County. This fire has also forced the evacuation of about 1500 residents in the area, but no structures have been reported to be burned. Unlike the Aliso Fire, the 416 fire is 0% contained. There is now the concern for thunderstorms in the forecast, and even though the rain may alleviate the conditions, the lightning associated with these storms may spark new fires.
The most massive wildfire currently blazing is in New Mexico, This fire, dubbed the Ute Park Fire, has grown to over 30,000 acres. 296 buildings are currently being threatened by this fire, which has promoted an evacuation order for the town of Cimarron. 14 outbuildings at a ranch, belonging to the Boy Scouts of America, have been destroyed so far. This site was evacuated ahead of time for precautionary measures.
The risk for wildfires were persist across the region through at least Monday. An extreme to exceptional drought has made the environment prime for the formation of these fires, along with the heat, dry air, and gusty winds.