Western U.S. ‘worst ever’ wildfire nears historic observatory

The “worst-ever” wildfire in the Western United States, also caught fire at the Historic Observatory on September 26 at 7:52 p.m.

The worst wildfire in history in the western United States is still going on about two months later, killing at least 36 people so far. Near Los Angeles, damage is spreading as fire approaches the historic observatory, and fire fighting is continuing in various places.
Large-scale wildfires have occurred in the western United States since the end of July, including drying, with a burned area of about 1.45 million hectares in California and about 400,000 hectares in neighboring Oregon.

At least 36 people have been killed in a series of wildfires so far, and the search continues for some who do not know where they are going.

In California, the Wilson Mountain Observatory, built in 1904 in the mountains outside Los Angeles, is also on fire. In the 1920s, astronomer Edwin Hubble observed the Andromeda Galaxy using the world’s largest 100-inch reflecting telescope to discover that it was a different galaxy from ours, and was later known for proving the expansion of the universe.

Currently, astronomical observatory officials have been evacuated, and 1,500 firefighters are working through the night to fight the fire.

Large-scale wildfires have occurred in more than 20 locations in California alone, and fire fighting is continuing in various parts of the country.

The range of fire nearly five times between the 18th and 19th of last month.

Satellite data and other analyses have shown that the range of fires in California has nearly doubled between the 18th of last month and the next day. Experts point out that wildfires could be caused until the end of next month, when similar climates continue, as the fire is seen to have spread at once due to lightning strikes and strong winds associated with frontal passage.

Based on NASA-National Aeronautics and Space Administration data, NHK analyzed the on-site wildfires in the Western United States with experts and found that california’s fire range was estimated to be about 33,000 hectares as of 18 last month, but spread nearly five-fold in a day to about 154,000 hectares the next day.

Is the range of the fire expanded at once by the front passage?

In addition, when compared with the weather data at the time, it was found that a front extending from the low pressure had passed over California during the day of the fire spread.

Akihiko Ito, director of the Department of Material Cycle Modeling and Analysis at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, who is familiar with forest ecosystems, said, “The high pressure spread until then, and lightning and strong winds occurred in areas that had been hit by record high temperatures and dryness, causing thunder and strong winds, and wildfires may have occurred at the same time in various places.”

On top of that, he points out that in the area, high temperatures and dryness will continue until the end of next month, so wildfires may be caused by the passage of the front line in the same way.

In the run-up to the series of wildfires, U.S. President Trump has indicated that it is a forest management issue, while the United Nations and weather experts have called for the urgency of the measures against the backdrop of global warming.

At that time, what was in the field …

Local ABC television, which aired last month, tells of a fire about 50 kilometers from the city of Sacramento in northern California.

As a result, from the 18th to the 19th in this area, multiple fires spread all at once, burning down houses in the surrounding area, and residents were forced to evacuate.

The woman who lost her house in the fire said, “The fire came toward me like a wall. It was very scary.”

Another woman said, “In just 30 seconds the house was engulfed in fire. I didn’t have home insurance, and I lost everything.”

In addition, according to the report, there was a series of lightning strikes in the surrounding area from a few days ago.