With nearly 50,000 people already under evacuation orders in Los Angeles County from the largely uncontained Tick Fire, the National Weather Service warned that strong, gusty winds as high as 65 mph on Friday threatened “very rapid fire growth.”
Noting the Extreme Red Flag warnings for the area and the hot, dry conditions, the weather service was blunt: “Extreme fire behavior possible with new ignitions.”
The Tick Fire, driven by the raw, Santa Ana winds, has destroyed almost 7 square miles and was only 5% contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The blaze jumped the 14 Freeway early Friday in Santa Clarita, triggering more evacuations.
Among those driven out was Alejandro Corrales, who watched in tears as her home burned on a ridge in Canyon Country, taking with it her mother’s ashes, other belongings and possibly a pen full of pet sheep.
“You start thinking about all the things you can’t get back,” she told KCBS-TV.
The fire, which has burned at least six homes, could also spark more power shutoffs to hundreds of thousands of people.
Consider this: California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?
Kincade Fire in wine country swells to 25 miles in 2 days
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in parts of Sonoma county, California as the Kincade fire continues to burn thousands of acres.
In Northern California, strong winds drove a second major fire, in Sonoma County, that swelled to 34 square miles in only two days. The Kincade Fire northeast of Geyserville was only 5% contained as of Friday morning.
Some 2,000 people in the wine country area were under evacuation orders as the fire consumed 49 buildings.
“Leave immediately if you are in these locations,” the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office warned, citing an “extraordinary threat to life or property.”
Harry Bosworth, 81, said he woke up before sunrise Thursday to find a firetruck and firefighters in his driveway. As he and his wife drove off, flames surrounded their driveway and their barn caught fire.
“I could see the fire coming, so we got the heck out of there,” Bosworth said after escaping to his daughter’s house in the neighboring town of Healdsburg.
PG&E power shut offs: Fire danger triggers more outages
SOURCE fire.ca.gov, as of 8 a.m. ET, Oct. 25; Pacific Gas & Electric; maps4news.com/©HERE (Photo: USA TODAY)
The blaze that has burned 25 square miles was whipped up by the strong winds that had prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to impose sweeping blackouts in northern and central California.
The outages affected half a million people or nearly 180,000 customers in 18 counties, most of whom lost power Wednesday afternoon and had it restored by Thursday evening, PG&E official Keith Stephens said.
The blackouts were instituted after utility electrical equipment was blamed for setting several blazes in recent years that killed scores of people and burned thousands of homes.
PG&E said Thursday it didn’t de-energize a 230,000-volt transmission line near Geyserville that it said malfunctioned minutes before the fire erupted.
Meanwhile, PG&E warned that an even larger power outage may take place as early as Saturday and could affect portions of 33 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, wine country and Sierra foothills.
Contributing: Associated Press
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