HURRICANE IRMA STRENGTHENS TO A CATEGORY FOUR STORM
Hurricane Irma has reached a category 4 storm causing Florida and Puerto Rico to declare a state of emergency. CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller reports that the storm first formed in the far eastern Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands, before making its way across the Atlantic.
A category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale means that the storm can reach winds of 130-156 miles per hour with “catastrophic” outcomes. The Miami-based hurricane center reports that if Hurricane Irma strikes it may result in uprooted trees, downed power lines, water and electricity outages, and significant property damage causing uninhabitable conditions.
Puerto Rico has activated the National Guard despite its current economic hardship.
“Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in a statement.
Officials warn that Irma could also reach Georgia, the Carolinas, and the Gulf of Mexico.
BRUSHFIRE THREATENS LA
Los Angeles is facing one of the largest brushfires in LA history. According to the Los Angeles Times, the La Tuna Canyon fire covers over 5,900 acres in mountains north of downtown.
The fire has destroyed three homes, closed a stretch of the 210 Freeway, hospitalized firefighters for dehydrations, and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared the La Tuna fire a local emergency. Gov. Jerry Brown also issued an emergency proclamation for Los Angeles County on Sunday.
Firefighters are currently dealing with an additional 18 wildfires across California.
MAN DIES AT BURNING MAN AFTER RUNNING INTO FLAMES
Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, ran into the burning structure at Burning Man Saturday night. He was pronounced dead Sunday morning.
According to the Reno Gazette Journal, it is unclear whether Mitchell was running directly into the fire or ran towards the structure and fell when guards tried to stop him. Officials say that Mitchell broke through two levels of security guards before running into the flames. Fire personnel attempted to pull him out but falling portions of the burning structure caused rescuers to wait until it was safe to pull him from the flames.
Authorities say that it is not known whether Mitchell was intoxicated, but a toxicology test is still pending.
Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said in a Sunday night statement that Mitchell was born and raised in McAlester, Oklahoma but has lived in Switzerland with his wife.
Karolina Rivas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @karolinarrivas.