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13 Oct 08:38 AM UTC

United States: Disruptions at San Francisco Airport due to wildfires /update 3

Out-of-control wildfires continue to rage in northern California Oct. 13; disruptions at San Francisco Airport due to reduced visibility

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/18/2017, 8:42 PM until 10/18/2017, 8:42 PM (US/Pacific).

COUNTRY/REGION California

Event

Smoke from ongoing wildfires in northern California has been causing flight disruptions at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Over 200 flights were canceled October 11-12 and many others were significantly delayed. Similar disruptions are possible until the fires are brought under control, which could take several more days. Flight disruptions are also possible at smaller regional airports, along with road closures in affected areas (e.g. Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Yuba, and Solano counties).

These “catastrophic” wildfires continue to rage, despite forecasts of improved environmental conditions for early Friday, October 13; 21 separate fires were burning as of Thursday. At least 31 people have been killed, thousands left homeless, thousands more without power, and at least 77,000 hectares (190,000 acres) have been razed. A state of emergency has been declared for the region.

Up-to-date information can be found on the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) website.

Context

Wildfires are common in California during the hot and dry summer and early autumn months. Rugged terrain and dry conditions - exacerbated by years of drought - often render the controlling of fires difficult. These wildfires initially erupted overnight October 8-9.

Advice

Individuals are advised to avoid areas affected by the wildfires until the situation stabilizes, adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), keep abreast of the situation, and confirm flight reservations.