Red flags and fires in southern California

Some areas in southern California are under a red flag warning, so it comes as no surprise that firefighters are busy there this afternoon. The Guiberson Fire north of Los Angeles near Moorpark and Fillmore is being pushed by a “moderate Santa Ana” wind and has burned about 1,500 acres and forced some evacuations. 

The weather at Wiley Ridge at 2:57 p.m. shows a 32 mph ENE wind with gusts up to 45 mph, a max temperature of 95 today, and a relative humidity of 4%.     

Another fire in Riverside County near Narco has burned 150-250 acres and is close to containment. 

UPDATE at 4:23 p.m. PDT Sept. 22

The Guiberson Fire has now blackened 6,000 acres. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said the fire started from “manure spontaneous combustion from a local ranch.”  It is not uncommon for a large pile of composting manure to start a fire, especially in extreme heat like they have recently had in southern California. 

Wikipedia explains how spontaneous combustion occurs:

  1. A substance with a relatively low ignition temperature begins to release heat, which may occur in several ways, such as oxidation or fermentation.
  2. The heat is unable to escape, and the temperature of the material rises
  3. The temperature of the material rises above its ignition point
  4. Combustion begins, if a sufficiently strong oxidizer, such as oxygen, is present.

Another fire near Norco in Riverside County has burned about 160 acres and is 50% contained. 

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