California Declares State of Emergency Over Wildfires

Over 367 fires are sweeping across California, burning more than 300,000 acres and threatening local residents and homes, according to CBS News. People are being told to evacuate and California Governor Gavin Newsom has now declared a state of emergency.

“Practically every single first responder unit in town is actively working to safely notify, evacuate and fight the fires, so our residents are safe,” police in Vacaville, California, said, according to CNN

Officials say the California fires are burning an area that is bigger than Washington, D.C. There were nearly 11,000 lightning strikes that hit Northern California Wednesday, causing at least 60 fires, according to fire officials.  California is receiving support from firefighters in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. A blistering heat wave is also worsening the situation.

Northern California is being hit especially hard with fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties spreading into Solano, Lake, and Yolo Counties. Several fires have burned more than 40,000 acres in three northern Bay Area counties. Evacuations were ordered in several counties. Air quality officials in San Francisco are also concerned about the air quality, saying smoke from the fires is “causing elevated levels of particulate pollution.” 

California Governor Gavin Newsom said at least 23 major fires are burning statewide. There have been 6,754 fires as of August 18 compared to 4,007 fires this same time last year. A huge Apple Fire in Southern California is 95 percent contained after burning more than 33,000 acres.