A wildfire north of San Francisco nearly doubled Thursday night sending 23 square miles up in flames. A handful of homes have been torched and at least 650 residents have evacuated their homes. Only 5 percent of the fire had been contained Friday.
Cal Fire said there are 1,000 firefighters working non-stop along with a water-dropping aircraft to control the fire egged on by high temperatures, high winds and bone-dry vegetation, LA Times reports. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said they are working to dig a containment line around the fire.
Cal Fire said that fire started around 4:10 p.m.Wednesday roughly 62 miles north of Napa Valley and spread quickly into heavy woodlands. The fire rapidly took over 8,000 acres and grew to 15,000 acres by Friday. The damage is still being assessed, but at least three structures and several outbuildings have been destroyed.
The California National Guard sent a fleet of eight helicopters to help Cal Fire crews out, CBS News reports. They will help evacuate the injured, move equipment and douse flames with water. Despite their efforts, the high winds and heat brought new life to the fire and tall flames are still ripping through acres of land.
This fire is one of 14 huge wildfires burning in California. Usually, people are to blame for the fires. However, California’s weather is most likely to blame for the fires in the state’s northern half. Brice Bennett of Cal Fire said that the “four-year drought and dry vegetation made for some serious spotting across the lines.”
A different grass fire in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta fueled by strong wind gusts destroyed seven homes in a mobile home park Thursday and sent residents running of their lives before firefighters could control it. The fire was out by Thursday night.
According to New York Times, fires are also being contained in the far north, east of Napa Valley, near Yosemite National Park and near Bass Lake.