Wildfires Ongoing

Aug 21, 2020

Several Northern California wildfires are ongoing as of 20 August 2020, and have prompted officials to evacuate thousands of residents. A series of blazes in an area west of Sacramento, the state capital, spread to consume 125,000 acres (50,585 hectares) of land the previous day after forcing evacuations of residential neighborhoods in the city of Vacaville, located approximately 35 mi (55 km) southwest of Sacramento. These fires, which are affecting Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties, remain zero percent contained. At least four residents have been injured and 175 buildings have been destroyed. An additional 25,000 structures in the area remain vulnerable. In Solano County, a U.S. Air Force base ordered all non-mission essential personnel to evacuate the facility on the night of 19 August. Meanwhile, closer to the San Francisco Bay area, additional wildfires — which are ongoing in areas of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties — have consumed 102,000 acres of land and pose a threat to approximately 5,000 structures. These blazes are 5 percent contained. Farther south, approximately 22,000 residents in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties are under evacuation orders due to the fires, which have consumed 25,000 acres of land and are threatening more than 6,500 structures. Separately, in Fresno County, a firefighting helicopter crashed while attempting to drop water, killing the pilot. The governor of California has stated that there are 23 major wildfires — many of them ignited by lightning strikes — ongoing in the state and has requested hundreds of fire engines and about 1,000 personnel from other U.S. states to battle the blazes.

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