Crews Continue Battling Fairview Fire, Explodes in Size

Carmela Karcher

“We had about 10,000 acres that burnt in a period of five hours,” CAL FIRE Battalion Chief, Jon Heggie, shared.

Apocalyptic skies, raining ash, and a sea of gray.

That’s all the Fairview Fire has left behind.

“The terrain is rugged,” Heggie continued. “That’s the best way to say it. It’s difficult. It’s steep and it’s rocky. It’s challenging for us to get our crews in there, but we’re doing our best. We’re inserting where we see proper opportunities for success. The men and women are out there. They are working very, very hard.”

Flames so hot, cars can be seen melted into the ground.

Uprooting the lives of countless residents as the inferno keeps its rapid pace.

A true firestorm.

But, CAL FIRE says there is a glimmer of hope.

“I’ve done this job for a long time, and this is a very unique situation. We don’t have a lot of times where wildland fires are being influenced by a hurricane,” Heggie explained. “The one thing that we know is we are going to get an easterly flow of wind, so we’re preparing for that and putting the resources in the appropriate places to respond to that change in the wind direction.”

As the rain is something to hope for, this could cause a problem: flooding from the fresh burn scars.

“We’re hopeful for rain, obviously, but we also want it to come in not all at once,” Heggie said. “We’re preparing for floods all at the same time. It could change by the hour. We could be fighting fire at one minute and preparing for floods the next, so it’s gonna be very challenging. Having this amount of rain right on top of a fire is very unprecedented, so another thing that we’ve never seen before that’s happening here in California.”

Regardless, crews are expecting the unexpected.

“What this is showing us is that it does not take much for fire to become very large and very devastating,”  Heggie said. “It’s still taxing, it’s still hard and arduous work. The men and women prepare for this. This is what we do, and this is the job that we signed up for.”

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