California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as wildfires rage at both ends of the state. More than a dozen wildfires are currently burning in California, the largest of which is the Kincade Fire.
On October 23 the Kincade Fire broke out in Sonoma County.
But it was the hurricane-force winds three days later that helped the blaze quickly double in size, engulfing an area about the size of Sacramento. A relentless 36-hour period of howling, desiccating winds frustrated more than 4,000 firefighters as they struggled to beat back the fire’s destructive path.
To date, the fire has destroyed 374 structures, while another 80,000 structures were being threatened. Nearly 200,000 Sonoma County residents were evacuated, the largest evacuation in county history.
The Kincade Fire is expected to burn through the first week of November. You can search the Kincade Fire Incident Map here.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles wildfire was threatening hundreds of homes near the world-famous Getty Center. Strong winds were spreading that fast-growing fire along a major freeway west of downtown.
About 10,000 structures were placed under mandatory evacuation orders, as thousands of people were ordered to evacuate some of the priciest enclaves on the planet. Some Los Angeles residents had as little as 15 minutes to flee the approaching flames.
At least 10 homes have been destroyed, and 15 others damaged, as firefighting crews within neighborhoods were overwhelmed. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Getty Fire was caused by “a tree branch that broke off and subsequently landed in nearby power lines during high-wind conditions.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents to leave and not attempt to fight the fire with garden hoses.
“Get out when we say get out,” he said. “The only thing you cannot replace is you and your family.”
The Getty Fire Incident Update is available here.
To mitigate the risk of additional fires, up to 2.7 million residents were facing dark times as Pacific Gas & Electric continued to implement regular blackouts. Bay Area residents were bracing to ride out the firestorms as one blackout period continued to roll into another.
In response to both the blackouts and wildfire evacuations, Gov. Newsom’s office launched a special website to provide residents with information about emergency shelters, transportation and fire updates.
Featured Image: Adobe, License Granted