US Ex-Pats: Back home in California, fires continue to wreak havoc.

US News of note

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, declared a statewide emergency on Sunday due to fires that have spread rapidly as a result of high winds and forced massive evacuations.

The Kincade fire in northern Sonoma county and wine has burned more than 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) to date, led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people and threatened hundreds of structures, the California government explained in a release.

Firefighters and emergency services in the north of the state have failed to control a devastating fire fanned on Sunday by wind gusts of more than 144 kilometers per hour (90 miles).

As of today, the regional government said, there are more than 3,000 local, state and federal staff members, including first responders, to assist in work related only to the Kincade fire.

“We are deploying all available resources and coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires,” the governor said in a statement.

The priority is to save the cities of Healdsburg and Windsor, in Sonoma County, where the flames are headed. The authorities order is “leave now”.

Several hospitals in the area have been evacuated. At least 200 patients, among which 20 are in critical condition, were sent to hospitals in the San Francisco Bay area.

The work of firefighters has gone uphill as strong winds have not ceased in the region for several days.

Evacuation efforts have also been hampered by the lack of energy, because in the region more than one million customers remain without power.

The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) power company decided to cut off the service to nearly two million of its customers in Northern California for fear that collapsed wires or electrical equipment failures caused more sources of fire.

Early investigations revealed that the Kincade fire originated very close to a PG&E electrical equipment.

Meanwhile, the Tick fire in southern California also destroyed structures, threatened homes and critical infrastructure, and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

“It is essential that people in evacuation zones pay attention to warnings from officials and first responders, and have the local and state resources they need to fight these fires,” Newsom added.

The governor has also announced a $ 75 million program for state and local governments to mitigate the impacts of power outages to prevent more fires.

Newsom had declared a state of emergency for Sonoma and Los Angeles counties last Friday.

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To ALL US Ex-Pats, PNO readers, and my Panama Friends. HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!!!!!!!

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