California declares state of emergency as it fights fires, extreme weather

California declares state of emergency as it fights fires, extreme weather

The "fast-moving" LNU Lightning Complex fire sparked hurried evacuations in northwest California early on Wednesday, August 19, local media reported.

A group of fires in Northern California covering over 46,000 acres (18,615 hectares) has destroyed at least 50 structures in a hill and mountain area near Vacaville in Solano County, authorities said.

1,900 PG&E customers are without power in Napa County, and evacuation orders have expanded since mid-day Tuesday to include a wide swath of the county, including part of Atlas Peak Road and areas that were hit by the wine country fires of October 2017.

"In the last 72 hours we've experienced an historic lightning siege with 10,849 strikes causing more than 367 new fires", said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynnette Round. Fire officials said at least 50 structures were destroyed and 50 were damaged and that four people were injured. Television footage showed some homes in flames and thick ash dropping in a rural area near Interstate 80 as the fire appeared to head toward more densely populated areas.

Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Tuesday to ensure the states receive vital resources amid wildfires that have exacerbated a stifling heat wave. "I got all these flames on me and I lost my shoe, but I made it. God saved me", she said.

He conceded that resources are strapped statewide. "But it's not like past year when we saw just a huge wealth of resources flowing into the county", he said.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the area, said the fires burning in Napa and Sonoma counties were mostly affecting less populated areas.

Powers said much of the fire was burning through rural areas with steep terrain, making it hard to get crews in. The city has a population of approximately 100,000 people and is located between San Francisco and Sacramento.

The Davis and UC Davis fire departments deployed strike teams in recent days to assist with several California wildfires. Strong winds and low humidity made the firefight challenging. The blaze did not burn any structures. As KRON 4 reports, no structures are now threatened by the fire, but evacuation warnings have been issued in West Marin, including those west of Highway 1 between Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Olema and Bolinas.