Topanga Fire in California October 3, 2005Posted by jtintle in Space Fotos.
The Topanga Fire in continues to rage in Southern California, Northwest of Los Angeles. Several structures, including at least three homes, have been consumed by the fire and many others in the San Fernando Valley are threatened. More than 3,000 firefighters are currently combating the fire, which was about 20% contained on the afternoon of September 30, 2005. To date, the fire has consumed over 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres). The blaze began on Wednesday afternoon and was quickly spread by the Santa Ana winds. These winds are caused by the accumulation of air under pressure between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. The air is carried eastward, where it descends into the valleys, losing moisture (and therefore heating up) along the way. These winds are also responsible for the visible plume of smoke blowing out into the Pacific Ocean. It is likely that fires of this sort have been occurring in this way for at least the last 500 years.