Firefighters have responded to some 330 fires raging across California in the past 24 hours, Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday.
The update came as the latest Getty fire in West Los Angeles forced the evacuation of 10,000 residents, including celebrities living near Hollywood, while the Kincade fire, which broke out northeast of Geyserville in Sonoma county the night of Oct 23, continued to rage across northern California, Xinhua reported.
At the time of the press conference held at the California governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Kincade fire had burned more than 267 sq km and was 5% contained, local media reports said.
So far, no deaths have been reported in the wildfires. Despite the high number of fires, Newsom said this year’s fire season was not the worst in recent years, “though it may feel like it”.
“We are entering the peak part of fire season that is very familiar to us in California, but not people out of state,” he said. “Most people think about fire season as part of the summer… I’ll remind folks the Camp fire and Woolsey fire, in northern and southern California, occurred in the first week of Nov, so we are very vigilant in this moment. The winds are vexing and are the most (complex) part of this fire. But the good news is the winds are resting,” he added.
Last year’s Camp and Woolsey fires were among the 10 most devastating blazes in California’s history, especially the Camp fire, which wiped out the town of Paradise in Butte county, killing 86 residents.
Cal OES director Mark Ghilarducci said more than 10,000 personnel were working across the state to fight the Kincade and Getty fires.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), California’s main power supplier, announced Monday evening that it would conduct a new round of public safety power shutoffs from Tuesday. The move, which will affect 605,000 customers across 29 counties, is scheduled to last till Thursday.
The company said the measure is designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds.