Surging California winds spark wildfire fears, power outages

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Foggy winds blew through California on Tuesday after downing trees, fueling wildfires and shutting down power to nearly 25,000 customers in the northern and central regions.

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Dangerous fire conditions in mountains, valleys, valleys and deserts are in alert due to dry, windy weather. Winds of 25 mph (40 kph) with gusts of 70 mph (112 kph) were expected early Tuesday evening.

Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to about 25,000 customers in 20 central and northern California counties after power lines could be snapped, causing wildfires.

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After PG&E Appliances was indicted for the 2018 fire that wiped out most of the City of Paradise in Butte County, the company filed for bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter. PG&E faces multiple criminal charges for a fire caused by its horrific equipment, including charges of involuntary manslaughter filed last month in connection with a wildfire near the city of Redding last year that killed four people.

At least half a dozen fires broke out across the state on Monday. Most remained small, but a blaze quickly spread across thousands of acres from Los Angeles to the coast west of Santa Barbara. The fire engulfed an area of ​​fields, valleys and parks in dense chaparral.

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The flames prompted mandatory evacuations to El Capitan State Park with campsites, cattle and horse farms near Refugio State Beach, and US 101 – the only highway along the coast – to be closed as the fires headed south. headed toward the sea, US Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen said.

On the Central Coast, a tree fell on power lines in Hearst San Simeon State Park, sparking a small fire in brush, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted.

Windy weather is a nightmare for firefighters in a state where heat waves and a historic drought tied to climate change have left forests and dried up tinder. The fire that started in late summer is still burning after destroying hundreds of homes.

In the Sierra Nevada, the so-called KNP Complex fire may have burned hundreds of giant sequoias into trees in Sequoia National Park and was only 30% contained. On Monday, a firefighter with a worker working on the fire was hit by a rolling rock. Fire officials said the firefighter was taken to a hospital and his condition is stable.

Calfire said strong winds downed a tree, destroyed three parked cars and damaged a house in the coastal city of El Granada in San Mateo County. However, no one was reported to be injured.

The National Weather Service said dust was blowing from the Sacramento Valley across the San Joaquin Valley and into the high desert Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles. Caltrans said sections of State Route 138 near the Antelope Valley city of Lancaster and State Route 14 were closed after a dust storm and several trucks overturned blocking the roadway.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / California

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