California communities at risk as wildfire rages
By Our Reporter
August 23, 2020 - Communities in California are now being threatened as massive wildfires fueled by high temperatures and ongoing lightning strikes continued to ravage parts of the state.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Saturday that six people have already been killed by the fires, while almost 700 buildings have been razed as about one million acres have been afected.
Areas currently under threat are San Francisco Bay, the forested region near the University of California at Santa Cruz and a wide swath of the area between San Francisco and the state capital of Sacramento.
About 14,000 14,000 firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze but their effort is yielding little result, even as more help has been requested.
President Donald Trump declared the fires to be a major disaster, the White House said, giving room for federal funds to be used to help people and businesses harmed by the fires in seven counties to pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs.
“They’re scrambling for bodies” to help fight the fires, said Jay Tracy, a fire marshal with the city of Fresno who was deployed as a spokesman for the LNU fire complex, which had burned 314,000 acres in five counties, including some of the state’s storied wine country and communities between San Francisco and Sacramento.
Firefighters have improved containment of the southern edge of that fire, but winds are expected to push it northwest toward the wine country towns of Healdsburg and Guernville, he said.