- California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday declared a statewide emergency as Sonoma County, located north of San Francisco, continued to battle the massive Kincade Fire.
- As of Sunday night, the blaze had ripped through over 54,000 acres of land.
- Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said on Sunday night that over 960,000 customers in Northern California have had their power cut to prevent their infrastructure from creating more fires.
- PG&E added that weather stations measured peak wind gusts of over 100 mph in the North Bay Area, and also measured sustained wind gusts of 78 mph, equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday declared a statewide emergency as Sonoma County, located north of San Francisco, continued to battle the massive Kincade fire.
In a statement on Sunday, Newsom’s office said the statewide declaration was “due to the effects of unprecedented high-wind events” which have also sparked several smaller fires in the region.
According to the latest update from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Kincade Fire has been active for over four days and has whipped through over 54,000 acres of land as of 7:10 p.m. local time on Sunday. Over 110 residential and commercial structures have so far been damaged or destroyed, and over 3,440 state, local, and federal fire personnel have been deployed to tackle the fire.
“We are deploying every resource available, and are coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires,” Newsom said in his statement.
The blaze has forced nearly 200,000 people from their homes. As of Sunday night, it was only 5% contained.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that the evacuation orders due to the Kincade Fire were the largest in recent memory.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said at a press conference on Sunday night that over 960,000 customers in Northern California have had their power cut to prevent their infrastructure from creating more fires. PG&E said that some of its customers could remain without power until Wednesday.
Read more: A fire in California’s Sonoma County has burned nearly 22,000 acres. To avoid further risk, PG&E might orchestrate the state’s largest-ever blackout.
Scott Strenfel, a senior meteorologist for the utility service, said that impressive wind speeds have been measured in the region, with weather stations in the North Bay area measuring multiple peak wind gusts at or above 90 mph, along with one reading which topped 100 mph.
The service also measured sustained wind gusts of 78 mph, equivalent to that of a Category 1 hurricane.
According to NBC News, two firefighters were injured while battling the Kincade Fire and were airlifted to the hospital with severe burns.
Video recorded by the ALERT wildfire system shows the exact moment the fire broke out on Wednesday night.
Extended periods of dry weather and extreme winds, known as the Santa Ana winds, have been fanning flames across the state.
Elsewhere in California, fires continued to rage. The Tick Fire in Southern California has been active for over three days and has burned through 4,615 acres as of 7:20 p.m. local time on Sunday.
The fire was 70% contained as of Sunday night, and all evacuation orders in the area have been lifted.