Author: Deborah

California Gov. Gavin Newsom orders evacuation of San Francisco and Monterey

California Gov. Gavin Newsom orders evacuation of San Francisco and Monterey

Weekend storms could be a mixed blessing for crews battling California’s largest wildfire in two years.

“It will definitely help us to be able to move our firefighters,” said Greg Bower, president of the Santa Cruz Mountains Wildfire Protection Authority. “The bad news is they will all be up in the high country, up on the ridges.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday that as many as 10,000 National Guard soldiers and air tankers could be deployed across the state in coming days. He said it could be a year before crews can begin to battle the Woolsey Fire that is burning in the Stanislaus National Forest on the northern edge of the Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

It is the third-largest wildfire in California history.

The fire, about 15 miles south of Sonoma County, has destroyed about 3,000 homes and is about 15 percent contained. It was triggered last week when two giant columns of wind-driven smoke filled the air above the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma State, which is about 75 miles north of San Francisco. The wind, said Fire Chief Mark Ghilarducci, created a “perfect storm of fire and wind, and it was not contained” until Sunday.

“It was going to be a long fight,” Ghilarducci said.

The fire grew to become the largest in the state’s history, and forced Gov. Newsom’s evacuation of the northern Bay Area cities of San Francisco and Monterey. Nearly 800 homes were destroyed. The fire also destroyed three towns and a ski resort in neighboring Marin County. A second round of evacuations was ordered for northern parts of the state, while authorities in several other cities were ordered to close streets and businesses.

Newsom issued an emergency proclamation ordering the “massive and complete evacuation” of the northern Bay Area.

Crews are battling the blaze with bulldozers, firehoses, firefighting trucks, trucks with air tankers and water bombers and helicopters.

“We are in uncharted territory with these winds,” Ghilarducci. “How are you going to fight it? How do you contain the fire? How do you evacuate residents? What do you do with these trucks? Where are all

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