Natural Disaster
Associated Press/Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez

Firefighters stretched thin in California

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 8/20/20, 04:42 pm

An unprecedented 11,000 lightning strikes in the state over three days likely are responsible for many of the blazes in Northern and Southern California and the Sierra Nevada mountains. The wildfires have killed at least five people, destroyed 175 buildings, and injured 33 people. Firefighters said supplies are scarce, and some have worked 72-hour shifts. “We’ve never seen this level of draw-down,” Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber said about the state’s resources required to fight the fires.

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Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg

Wildfires cover Bay Area in smoke

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 8/19/20, 01:36 pm

Authorities in California ordered thousands of evacuations in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday. More than 40 wildfires in the state have destroyed or damaged more than 100 buildings and injured at least four people. A pilot on a water-dropping mission died when his helicopter crashed in Fresno County Wednesday morning. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Tuesday. Officials evacuated sections of Vacaville, about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, on Wednesday morning, as lightning sparked even more fires.

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Associated Press/Photo by Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel

Wildfires scorch California, Colorado, and Oregon

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 8/17/20, 12:00 am

In California, lightning from a summer thunderstorm sparked several small fires in Northern California while exacerbating a large wildfire in Tahoe National Forest. The intensity of the blaze, which has burned 45 square miles and led to evacuations, has also caused rare fire tornados. Meanwhile, the Lake Fire in Southern California has burned more than 18,000 acres with 4,500 structures currently threatened by the blaze.

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