Flight Chops: A Pilot's Perspective of a Wildfire’s Growth

As California battles a massive blaze, see how quickly these disasters can spread.

While Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico continue to recover and rebuild following three historic hurricanes, firefighters are taking on a massive wildfire in California's Santa Ana Mountains. A "tragic wind shift," as one official put it, has been responsible for the destruction of approximately 2,000 acres and has threatened almost as many homes. Ill-prepared residents have been forced to evacuate, and they can only wait for better news.

Firefighters from all over Southern California have been working tirelessly to battle this wildfire, and as of Tuesday, thanks to weaker winds, the blaze was 15 percent contained. Still, evacuation orders are in effect, and as viral videos have shown, this "hell" is far from over.

For an idea of how easily these wildfires spread, we looked back to 2015 for this Flight Chops video that also features another new Flying contributor, Jason Miller. In it, Miller explains the severity of wildfire season and how on any given flight through the California mountains, people can witness not just one, but several fires. Sure enough, on what seemed to be a perfect day, a member of the Chops team spotted a small plume of smoke coming from a new fire. That particular fire ended up spreading across 16,000 acres, or approximately 25 square miles.

For the latest from Flight Chops (and an especially fun video of a DisneyLand trip), check out his YouTube channel, and be sure to check out his latest giveaway, which includes a Flying subscription.