The National Weather Service warns of an "extreme" and "potentially historic" event in offshore winds expected to produce gusts of 85 km / h through mountainous northern and central California between Saturday night and Monday morning with smaller but still strong winds reach valleys and coastal areas.
"This will be an aggressive fire fight," says Edwin Duniga, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "All our firefighters have been told to be careful, to be smart, to be safe. Because terrain like this makes it difficult for firefighters and [makes it] super dangerous when winds are gathering. "
The continuing fires come on the heels of devastating 201
7 and 2018 California fire seasons, featuring the largest, most devastating and deadliest flames in state history. This is part of a clear model for larger, more frequent and destructive flames, as well as a longer fire season. According to CalFire, "climate change is considered a key driver of this trend." Population growth and the increase in homes and businesses close to commonly burning lands are also escalating the risk of wildfire in Golden State. 19659002] Weather forecasters say this wind event could lead to the most explosive fire conditions after the 2017 fires that damaged much of Santa Rosa and killed 22 people.
Strong winds in the forecast will pose a high risk of sparks, which could lead to the potential rapid spread of forest fires, Pacific Gas & Electric said in a statement Friday. Approximately 850,000 customers, including millions of people in northern and central California, could be without power over the weekend as PG&E were ready to cut off electricity in the areas most at risk of the explosion. As of Saturday morning, only about 850 customers in Sonoma County had no electricity due to fire or safety shutdowns, said PG&E spokesman Susan Hosn.
The weekend break will mark the second major shutdown triggered by PG&E this month. A power cut by the gas and electricity company about two weeks ago left nearly 2 million people without power at its peak.
Hundreds of miles south, winds changed more favorably for firefighters in Los Angeles County, where significant progress was made in stopping the fire of the tick. As of Thursday, the flames had swallowed 4,300 acres and forced 50,000 people to evacuate following strong seasonal winds causing flames to sweep through the densely populated area of the canyon. Nine homes were destroyed.
The fire was 25 percent contained on Saturday morning and emergency crews were now directed to mitigate hot spots left from the line of flames and prevent the embers from igniting new fires. , said Capt. AJ Leicester of the Los Angeles County Fire Department
By Saturday morning, approximately 20,000-30,000 had been able to return home, Lester said. Areas within the perimeter of the fire remained under evacuation orders and more than 1,300 firefighters remained in place. Two evacuation centers for fleeing residents have been set up in nearby schools, as well as a separate place for animals.
Los Angeles County, as well as Sonoma County, have been in a state of emergency since Friday.
As Northern California prepares for another pressure from the Kinkade fire, PG&E is faced with extreme scrutiny after reporting that, although it cut power in Northern California on Wednesday, it has left high voltage power lines, operating in the region where Sonoma County Fire broke out. The same type of transmission line was responsible for the deadliest fire in the state ever – Camp Fire in 2018
At Friday afternoon's press conference, California Governor Gavin Newsham (D) said there had been discussions about PG&E's culpability, but they are not "convincing". The blame for the fire "has not been determined, nor is the investigation completed," he said, adding that he planned to hold the company responsible for "years and years of mismanagement."
Former CEO of PG&E Johnson said the company was conducting an internal investigation but did not take responsibility for the fire, adding that employees did not know exactly how it started. "At this point, we do not know exactly what happened," he told a news conference Thursday.
The scene as a fast-moving fire ignites in the wine country of Northern California
Oct. 25, 2019 | A wind fire continues to burn in Canyon Country, north of Los Angeles. (Gene Blevins / Reuters)
In Santa Rosa, residents are only recovering from the damage caused by the fire in the Dove that killed and destroyed homes in 2017.
On Friday afternoon, a clear blue sky was broken by a gray plume. rising above brown hills strewn with trees. Residents are on edge.
Natalie Pinzon, 45, who lives in Santa Rosa, lost her home two years ago. Five months after moving into his new remodeled house, the Kinkade fire brought back memories that flooded back.
"This is something very sad about things that are happening," said Pinson, who said there are few people who can do – other than prepare the region's energy infrastructure for the future. "The thing is, we have to start doing something right now to improve things here."
Terry Marshall said the fire nearby was disturbing residents in her own Santa Rosa neighborhood. Their important documents were packed in a suitcase in case they needed to escape.
"It's certainly very scary and worrisome for the community," she said. "I know that yesterday we were all very anxious at work." "At the same time," she said, "I have an 11-year-old son and we play a lot of board games, we do a lot of reading, and we try to make the most of it."
Andrew Friedman, Brice-Sadler and Epstein reported by Washington.