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article imageHeatwave, wildfires, power loss — California declares emergency

By Karen Graham     Aug 19, 2020 in Environment
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency Tuesday to deploy resources to "combat fires burning across the state which have been exacerbated by the effects of the historic West Coast heat wave and sustained high winds."
As of Wednesday, there are at least 27 wildfires raging across the state, including some caused by lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm Sunday, according to a map by Cal Fire. The flames have intensified temperatures from a serious heatwave that rolled in over the weekend.
Close to 20 wildfires are being tracked by Cal Fire's Santa Clara Unit (SCU). Together, the wildfires are called the SCU Lightning Complex Fire and it already has consumed 25,000 acres in two days, according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire's LNU (Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit) is dealing with three lightning-sparked fires in the northern Bay Area counties of Napa, Sonoma and Solano, state and county officials said.- known as the LNU Lightning Complex Fire. This fire has consumed over 32,000 acres with 0 percent containment as of Wednesday.
Just west of Vacaville, evacuations were ordered early Wednesday for all of Pleasants Valley Road and its connecting streets, as well as the English Hills area, the city's fire district said on Twitter.
The fire has already destroyed 50 structures and damaged another 50, according to CAL FIRE. Another 1,900 structures are currently threatened by the fire. Police and firefighters went door-to-door early Wednesday as a fire bore down on Vacaville. There are nearly 600 people fighting the fire. However, fire officials say that air resources have been stretched thin due to the number of fires in the area.
The fires come as California battles what some experts are calling historic weather conditions. Nearly 45 million people across the West are under an excessive heat warning or heat advisory Wednesday. High temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity are forecast, all conditions that will likely contribute to wildfires.
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