California launches rapid evacuation of thousands

A new fire in Southern California has forced tens of thousands to evacuate on Monday, and the state’s largest power company has set hundreds of thousands to prevent further fires during this devastating season. The power was cut off.

According to the city of Irvine, California, a vegetation fire called the Silverado fire broke out on about 10 acres around 6:47 am local time. It had already occurred around noon. Burned about 2,000 acre, Cal Fire of the State Fire Department said.

Officials said on Monday that about 4,000 firefighters were fighting 22 wildfires throughout the state. So far this year, more than 5 million acres have burned in Oregon, Washington, and California.

“The fire began in the Silverado Canyon and helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are underway,” Irvine Mayor Christina Shea said in a statement Monday. “The wind is moving it very fast.”

Orange County Fire Department 60,000 people were affected An evacuation order in the Irvine area caused the flames to jump over the highway, State Highway 241 and forcibly shut down part of it.

Hundreds of thousands of people in California were evacuated on Sunday because of what CalFire called “extreme fire weather conditions,” such as strong winds and low humidity that could increase the risk of wildfires. The agency said in Northern California, winds are 20-30 mph and gusts up to 70 mph. In Southern California, Santa Ana-related gusts can reach 80 miles per hour, he said.

Videos share According to the Orange County Fire Department, there were burnt debris and a dark haze of brownish smoke blowing over the lines of fire on the road.

Pacific Gas and Electric, the state’s largest power company, began cutting power supply to 361,000 customers in 36 counties, including Alameda, Alpine and Amador, on Sunday, the company said in a statement. The shutoff was expected to last until Monday night.

According to the company, the shutoff is “an important offshore wind event starting on Sunday, and so far it is predicted to have the driest humidity levels and the strongest winds in the wildfire season.”

The company added that “the majority of customers are expected to settle by Monday morning and the rest by Tuesday morning.”

On Monday morning, the National Weather Service in San Francisco issued a fire alert from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz, which meant that the weather conditions for the fire were or were about to occur. The service said the wind was “strong enough to knock down weakened trees and power lines.” “We need to be very careful not to catch a new fire,” the service added.

Pacific Gas and Electric, which escaped bankruptcy in June after taking responsibility for an estimated $ 30 billion wildfire, is increasingly using shut-offs to prevent equipment from causing fires in extreme weather conditions. doing.

The utility will begin power recovery on Tuesday. PG & E, which provides electricity and gas services to 16 million people in northern and central California, has used “public security power outages” more widely than any other utility in the state after filing for bankruptcy in January 2019. did. San Diego Gas & Electric, a utility owned by Edison, Southern California and two other investors in the state, is taking a more surgical approach with less power outages.

Earlier this month, PG & E reported to state regulators that the device could have been involved in the cause of the Zogg fire, which killed four people, destroyed more than 200 homes and businesses, and burned 56,338 acres. Last week, fire investigators announced that PG & E equipment caused the 2019 Kincade Fire, destroying 374 buildings and burning more than 77,000 acres.

Experts have associated the deteriorating fire season with climate variability. The warming caused by the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels leads to warmer and drier conditions, making trees and brushes more flammable.

Vikas Bajaj contributed to the report.

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