In California, fires rage, 50,000 people summoned to evacuate

The Kincade Fire spread Saturday morning about 10 300 hectares and was contained only 10%. The area north of San Francisco is on red alert until Monday morning due to strong winds.

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A resident of Healdsburg (north of San Francisco) evacuates a neighbor's dog on Saturday, October 26. Noah Berger / AP

Kincade Fire has devoured the wine region of Sonoma County near San Francisco since Wednesday night. Some 50,000 people were summoned to evacuate Saturday (October 26th) north of San Francisco, California, where authorities feared that the strong winds expected in the evening still cause a fire. They asked the people concerned to evacuate immediately, and to leave at 4:00 pm (local time) from this area, which includes the cities of Healdsburg and Windsor, about an hour and a half by car from San Francisco.

The fire spread Saturday morning about 10 300 hectares and was contained only 10%. It has destroyed at least 49 buildings, according to the latest announcements from Cal Fire, the California Fire Department, and threatens some 23,500 others. More than 2,000 firefighters, supported by about twenty water bombers and a hundred fire trucks, were trying to circumscribe him on Saturday.

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The zone will be on red alert from Saturday evening until Monday morning due to strong winds, which make the weather conditions extremely conducive to the rapid spread of fires, warned the weather services, which speak of a climatic event "Potentially extreme and historical". "This episode seems to be the strongest of this year and since (a series of fires in October) 2017 ", they specify. The winds, according to the meteorologists, should only decrease on Sunday in the afternoon.

940,000 homes without electricity

Kincade Fire touched vineyards in Sonoma County.
Kincade Fire touched vineyards in Sonoma County. Noah Berger / AP

State Governor Gavin Newsom called on Twitter residents to follow instructions from local authorities. He had gone to the field the day before and assured reporters that they had seen what looked like "To a war zone".

Meanwhile, electricity supplier PG & E announced plans to cut off power to 940,000 households from Saturday afternoon in 36 counties in the region due to forecasts of a "Dry, hot and windy weather", a "Climate event that could be the most powerful in California for decades". The measure will thus affect more than 2 million people, according to local media.

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The local authorities have not yet determined the cause of the incident, but PG & E reported an incident on one of its lines near the Kincade Fire's point of origin, only seven minutes before the departure. flames, reported Thursday local media.

Conditions for the spread of fire

California firefighters were facing several other fires at the same time. Hundreds of miles further south, another fire, named Tick Fire, was 25% contained and spread over more than 1,800 hectares, according to firefighters on Saturday morning. The fire, which occurred Thursday afternoon, threatened nearly 10,000 buildings in this area north of Los Angeles.

Most of the evacuation orders that had been issued in this area, with a few exceptions, were lifted on Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office said. They touched up to tens of thousands of people.

But with gusts at 40 km / h in places and air humidity still low Saturday, conditions remained to promote the spread of fire, warned the weather services. All schools in the area had closed Friday, as well as a busy highway. A state of emergency has been declared for Los Angeles County, allowing funds to be released.

According to firefighters, the fire burned at least nine buildings to ashes. And more than 1,300 firefighters, assisted by four helicopters, were still fighting the Tick Fire on Saturday morning.

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