'Lightning-Caused' Fires Prompt New Evacuations in Northwest California

'Lightning-Caused' Fires Prompt New Evacuations in Northwest California

At least 27 fires are raging across the state, including some caused by lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm Sunday, according to a map by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The cause remains under investigation. "This is a very active timber fire burning in two counties, with a serious threat to both public safety and for structures that are out in front of it". The crew now assigned to the Ranch Fire previously worked the Lake Fire in the Angeles National Forest, which began August 12 and stands at 38 percent containment after burning more than 19,000 acres. There are also large fires in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, near Salinas, in Napa wine country, around the Oroville Dam and north of Lake Tahoe. Those sensitive to air quality are cautioned to remain indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

Powers said much of the fire was burning through rural areas with steep terrain, making it hard to get crews in.

And further south, the Woodward Fire in Marin County near Point Reyes has reportedly burned 800 acres and is not at all contained, and its plume has been highly visible from San Francisco.

The LNU Lightning Complex included the Hennessey and Gamble fires in Napa County, as well as several other wildfires in the county. Smoke blanketed the city of San Francisco. "I got all these flames on me and I lost my shoe, but I made it. God saved me", she said. The so-called LNU Lightning fire is made up of several fires burning in five counties, including in Vacaville. Strong winds and low humidity made the firefight challenging.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency on Tuesday and California requested 375 fire engines from out of state to fight the blazes.

Tuesday afternoon, the fire was moving toward an area called Atlas Peak that burned in 2017 in a blaze that killed six people and destroyed almost 800 buildings. Both homes were new, replacing ones that burned just three years ago.

"An EVACUATION ORDER has been issued for all residents south of Gates Canyon Road to Hwy 80 and Pleasants Valley Road west to Blue Ridge Road". The Napa Valley Register reports only one structure and some outbuildings having been destroyed overnight, but 1,900 structures are threatened.

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