Morning Brief: The Alisal Fire, Speed Limits, And The Home Run That Wasn’t
Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 13.
Monday’s extreme winds did exactly what experts feared, causing a fire to spread quickly just north of Santa Barbara, near Solvang.
The Alisal Fire started Monday afternoon, and by Tuesday evening had scorched 8,000 acres, required evacuation mandates and warnings, and threatened structures in the area. The blaze also shut down part of the 101 in both directions, between Pacific Coast Highway and Winchester Canyon Road/Cathedral Oaks. Train service is also suspended close to the flames.
Amalie Orme, professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State Northridge, said she was surprised the area hadn’t succumbed to a wildfire before now.
"This area has not burned in over 60 years, which is remarkable," she said.
Orme expressed concern that if the winds don't let up, the fire could pass through the canyons in the Santa Ynez Mountains and threaten the community of Goleta, but “we're not there yet," she said.
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As of Tuesday afternoon, fire officials reported strong northwest winds between 30 to 35 mph, and gusts up to 70 miles per hour.
And if you’re wondering whether this is, in part, an effect of climate change, the answer is yes. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, “the area burned by wildfire from 1984 to 2015 was twice what would have burned had climate change not occurred.”
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- A new state law gives cities more control to lower speed limits and reduce traffic violence.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 bills into law and vetoed 66. Here’s what’s likely behind his thinking.
- Breakthrough infections might not represent the threat to others that scientists originally thought.
- Attendees at Coachella and Stagecoach will be able to show either a negative COVID test result or proof of vaccination when the festivals resume in April.
- KPCC/LAist reporter Sharon McNary revisited her footpath to Dodger Stadium, and has a few updates about conditions along the route. (Check laist.com for the latest on last night’s match.)
Before You Go ... Did The Wind Steal A Dodgers Home Run?
On Monday, Gavin Lux’s hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Giants looked like it could have been a homer, but for the wind. We asked David Kagan, an emeritus professor of physics at Cal State Chico, and he said the boys in blue may have been robbed by Mother Nature herself.