California braces for more lightning as wildfires kill seven

By Adrees Latif AETNA SPRINGS, Calif. (Reuters) - California braced for more lightning storms that could spark dozens of new blazes after over 600 wildfires in the last week burned an area three times the size of Los Angeles. The worst of the wildfires, including the second and third largest in California history, were around the San Francisco Bay Area with roughly 240,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders or evacuation warnings in the state.

Reuters August 25, 2020 01:11:38 IST
California braces for more lightning as wildfires kill seven

California braces for more lightning as wildfires kill seven

By Adrees Latif

AETNA SPRINGS, Calif. (Reuters) - California braced for more lightning storms that could spark dozens of new blazes after over 600 wildfires in the last week burned an area three times the size of Los Angeles.

The worst of the wildfires, including the second and third largest in California history, were around the San Francisco Bay Area with roughly 240,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders or evacuation warnings in the state.

The National Weather Service on Monday morning lifted a warning for lightning and high winds in the area, giving firefighters some relief, but kept the "red flag" alert in place for much of Northern California.

"The threat of a thunderstorm over a fire area is dangerous, let alone over the second and third largest in California history," Brice Bennett, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said of the two largest blazes, the LNU and SCU Lightning Complexes.

The fires, which were ignited by over 13,000 lightning strikes from dry thunderstorms across Northern and Central California since Aug. 15, have killed at least seven people and destroyed over 1,200 homes and other structures.

Smoke from wildfires that have burned over 1.2 million acres in the last 10 days has created unhealthy conditions for much of northern California and has drifted as far as Kansas.

The LNU Complex, which began as a string of smaller fires that merged into one, has burned around 350,000 acres of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano counties, Cal Fire said.

It was 22% contained as of Monday while to the south the SCU Lightning Complex was nearly as large, at 347,000 acres, and only 10% contained.

"I'm nervous, I don't want to leave my house, but lives are more important," Penny Furusho told CBS television affiliate KPIX5 after she received an order to evacuate her home near Morgan Hills on the south flank of the SCU fire.

Another blaze threatened forests south of San Jose with the University of California at Santa Cruz under mandatory evacuation along with dozens of communities.

Over 14,000 firefighters are on the wildfires which U.S. President Donald Trump declared a major disaster, freeing up federal funds to help residents and businesses.

(Reporting by Adrees Latif in Aetna Springs, California; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.