Thousands of residents in a mountainous area east of Los Angeles were sending stones and other debris to the streets after heavy rains as part of evacuation orders and shelter orders.
Firefighters went from road to street on Monday night to trap any residents in the community of Forest Falls. San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Eric Sherwin said the crew did not find anyone who needed to be rescued and no one was reported missing. He said the crew would again campaign in the neighborhood and begin cleanup efforts after sunrise.
“We won’t know the extent of things until we reach first light,” Sherwin said before dawn on Tuesday.
Sherwin said several structures in the area had varying levels of damage, including a commercial building where the soil was so high that the roof collapsed.
The rains were the remnants of a tropical storm that brought high winds and some badly needed rainfall to drought-stricken Southern California last week, helping firefighters douse a massive wildfire that spread nearly 20 miles (32 miles) across. km) was getting out of control in the south. mudslides
Mud flows and flash floods have engulfed parts of the San Bernardino Mountains, where there are burn marks from wildfires in 2020. Those burn marks have little vegetation to hold onto the soil, making them more susceptible to ground and mud.
“All that dirt turns to mud and starts rolling down the mountain,” Sherwin said.
Concerns about additional mud and debris flows on Monday night prompted officials to place 2,000 homes under evacuation orders in the San Bernardino Mountain communities of Oak Glen and Forest Falls, when the Yucaipa Ridge was about 2 inches (5. cm) It rained.
For some homes in Forest Falls, it was too late to evacuate and residents were asked to stay in the place at night as it was safer than exiting.
“The roads are compromised or they are covered in debris,” Sherwin said, adding that the crew planned to work all night using heavy equipment to clear the routes.
The landslide occurred in California after a week of extreme weather patterns. The state endured a record-long heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 100F (38C) in many areas.
Amid the scorching heat, several wildfires broke out, including the Fairview fire in Southern California and the Mosquito fire burning east of Sacramento.
Then, a tropical storm struck parts of the south of the state.
The remains of Hurricane aid crews battling the Fairview fire, which covered 44 square miles (114 sq km) and contained 56% as of late Monday.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire), mosquito fires have increased to 76 square miles with 16% under control.
More than 5,800 structures are at risk in Placer and El Dorado counties, and about 11,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate.
Smoky skies from wildfires engulfed many areas of the West on Monday, with alarming levels of particulate pollution detected by government and private monitors in parts of eastern Oregon and Washington, northern California, central Idaho and western Montana. Air quality deteriorated. In some areas, people were told to avoid all outdoor activities until the pollution cleared up.
In Washington, fire officials scrambled Saturday to secure resources for a fire in the remote Stevens Pass area, which caused pedestrians to flee and mountain communities to evacuate. As of Monday, the Bolt Creek fire was 2% contained and scorched approximately 12 square miles of forest land about 65 miles northeast of Seattle. Officials said a larger incident management team and additional fire brigade were due to arrive on Tuesday.
In Oregon, utility companies said Monday they restored power to thousands of customers after shutting down service over the weekend to try to prevent wildfires during times of high winds, low humidity and warm temperatures.
South of Portland, evacuation levels were lowered near the 135-square-mile Cedar Creek fire, which has been burning for more than a month in Lane and Deschutes counties. Firefighters were guarding remote homes in Oakridge, Westfire and the surrounding mountainous communities. Sheriff’s officers warned people to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice if the situation changed.