California Governor Declares State of Emergency Due to Wildfires

A state of emergency was declared in California on Sunday by Governor Gavin Newsom, after almost 200,000 homes were devastated in wildfires in the north and south of the state.

The Kincade Fire spread onto some 50,000 acres in Northern California, Newsom informed, adding that that is 30,000 acres more than earlier in the day. The governor said that an estimated 180,000 people have been evacuated after the fire, which CalFire says destroyed 79 structures.

The Tick Fire, burning near Santa Clarita in the southern part of the state, destroyed at least 22 structures and threatened 10,000 more, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said Sunday.

Meanwhile, Californians outside the fire zones find themselves in the dark — literally, CNN reports.

About 1 million Pacific Gas and Electric customers lost power — 965,000 because of the Public Safety Power Shutoff, and an additional 100,000 for other reasons, said Mark Quinlan, PG&E incident commander.

Californians should not expect immediate relief. Strong winds will keep blowing into Monday and a second batch of Santa Ana winds may hit Southern California in the middle of the week, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

Winds hit the 70-80 mph range on Sunday, the National Weather Service said. Newsom’s proclamation mentioned a “historic wind event” and said “fire weather conditions are unprecedented due to the scale, scope, wind speed and dry fuel conditions.”

“We are deploying every resource available, and are coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires,” Newsom said in a statement. “It is critical that people in evacuation zones heed the warnings from officials and first responders, and have the local and state resources they need as we fight these fires.”

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