Thousands of people were evacuated Thursday in central and northern California, USA, due to heavy fires. Four eruptions around San Francisco Bay that are driven by high winds have triggered 367 fires, according to the governor of California.
Major fires continued to rage in central and northern California, in the western United States, on Thursday, August 20, evacuating thousands of people, including homes risk going up in smoke.
Two of the largest fires are raging north and south of San Francisco: the SCU Lightning Complex and the LNU Lightning Complex, which include several eruptions that have erupted since Monday.
LNU, which affects Sonama and Napa’s vineyards, was still out of control Thursday, according to California firefighters. About 100 houses were destroyed by the flames, which now threaten more than 30,000 buildings.
California fires: “monster fires” still out of control
“We are currently fighting 367 fires,” California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted on Thursday, declaring an emergency to facilitate access to funds.
“Lightning has struck 10,849 times in California in the last 72 hours and (the state has had) WORLD RECORDS of heat,” he said.
San Francisco air pollution alarm
They killed at least two people, according to firefighters: a helicopter pilot whose plane crashed while dropping water and an employee of the electricity company PG&E who was found dead.
Smoke from fires has led to warnings about air pollution in the affected areas, including San Francisco.
“As long as these many fires burn for days and even weeks, air quality will be extremely poor for a long time,” said Daniel Swain, a climate specialist at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
The fires, which usually occur between August and November, have become more common and larger in California in recent years, in part due to climate change.
With AFP and Reuters