An additional 50,000 residents in Sonoma county (California state) are being forced to evacuate on Saturday, October 26, due to the continued spread of the Kincade fire. Authorities issued mandatory evacuations for the cities of Windsor and Healdsburg. The blaze, which broke out in the afternoon (local time) on Thursday, October 24, is only ten percent contained and has burned approximately 25,455 acres (10,301 hectares) as of Saturday afternoon. At least 49 structures have been destroyed by the fire thus far and another 20,000 structures are at risk.
According to experts, there is a heightened potential for new fires over the coming hours as high-intensity winds roll through the region on Saturday evening. Cal Fire announced that the extreme wind event expected to impact the region may cause power lines to fall.
Additionally, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said that as many as 940,000 accounts will lose power on Saturday beginning at approximately 14:00. According to PG&E officials, the first counties likely to lose power are Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, Sierra, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Yuba counties.
Officials have warned that smoke in the area may cause low visibility and disrupt operations at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San Jose International Airport (SJC) over the coming hours and days.
The blazes are anticipated to continue spreading in the coming hours and days. High winds are forecast across California through Sunday, October 27. Further evacuation orders, road closures, and power outages are expected in the vicinity of the wildfire and evacuation zones.
Individuals in Sonoma county are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. evacuation notices, road closures), and exercise caution when traveling near the wildfire. Children and those with respiratory illness are advised to limit outdoor activity.
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