40,000 Ordered to Flee Amid California Wind-Driven Wildfires

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
October 24, 2019USshare

Authorities say they’ve ordered at least 40,000 people to evacuate as wind-driven fires rage near neighborhoods north of Los Angeles.

Several homes burned on Oct. 24 as two fires fanned by powerful winds swept through the dry brush to the edge of communities in the Santa Clarita area. No injuries have been immediately reported.

wildfire approaches a residential subdivision
A wildfire approaches a residential subdivision Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby says there is no containment of either blaze.

The flames are fed by dry winds that are predicted to strengthen across the region. Forecasters say peak gusts could top 70 mph.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) says it had a problem with a transmission tower near where a wildfire ignited in Northern California wine country.

PG&E filed a report with the state utilities commission saying it became aware of a transmission level outage in the Geysers in Sonoma County around 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 23.

The wildfire was reported minutes later in the same area, although it is not clear whether the malfunction sparked the blaze.

Flames from the Kincade Fire
Flames from the Kincade Fire consume a home and car in the Jimtown community of unincorporated Sonoma County, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Noah Berger/AP)

The state’s largest utility preemptively shut off power in Northern California on Thursday in a bid to prevent toppled electrical lines from igniting wildfires in dry, hot gusty winds.

Power was shut off to distribution lines but not to transmission lines.

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