Tens of thousands evacuated as 70mph winds fuel California wildfires (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Quickly consuming nearly 16,000 acres in Sonoma County since starting late Wednesday night, one of the fires has chased 2,000 residents from their homes as emergency responders struggle to hold back the flames.
Facing up to 70-mph winds, however, firefighters have only managed to contain about five percent of the blaze, according to Cal Fire. So far, nearly 50 structures have been lost.
A Northern California wildfire exploded early Thursday. Wind-driven blaze prompted local department to impose electrical blackouts and forced evacuations north of San Francisco in Sonoma County. pic.twitter.com/oxeUhY0QFL— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) October 24, 2019
Northern California Wild Fire - wine country Fuelled by strong winds, the Kincade fire has quickly scorched more than 10,000 acres in California's Sonoma County, forcing hundreds of people from their homes.#CaliforniaFire#CaliforniaWildFire#ForestFire#SaveForest#WildFirepic.twitter.com/F8hY818Nzc— Nikhil Choudhary (@NikhilCh_) October 25, 2019
The conflagration in Sonoma County – known as the ‘Kincade’ fire – continues to tear across swaths of northern California’s wine country, and is thought to have been started by a malfunctioning power line operated by Pacific Gas & Electric, though investigators have yet to rule out other causes.
The ALERT Wildfire program, a joint effort of the Universities of Nevada, UC San Diego and Oregon, captured the moment the fire ignited on camera.
While covering a smaller area of around 4,000 acres, a second blaze north of Los Angeles called the ‘Tick’ fire caused the bulk of evacuations on Thursday, with 50,000 residents asked to leave their homes and several structures destroyed, according to the LA County Fire Department. Interstate 5 was also shut down.
A number of smaller fires continue to burn around the state as well.
AFP map of California showing active wildfires as of Oct 24.Much of the state is under a red flag warning because of gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity, perfect conditions for wildfires pic.twitter.com/2hyh79y3nj— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 25, 2019
So far in 2019’s wildfire season, California has seen nearly 6,000 separate blazes, September’s ‘Walker’ fire being the largest this year, burning just shy of 55,000 acres in Susanville in September.
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