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California Fire Emergency Rages as Hundreds of Fires Spark Mass Evacuations

10-29-2019
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A raging wildfire in northern California has exploded, doubling in size. And now, a new wildfire is torching southern California, forcing terrified residents to flee in the middle of the night.

With no rain in sight and more wind in the forecast, many wonder when it will end.

Hundreds of fires are erupting throughout California as high winds and dry conditions fuel the flames, threatening Los Angeles neighborhoods in the south and consuming tens of thousands of acres in the north.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, "Just in the last 24 hours Cal Fire has put out 330 fires in this state."
 
In southern California, the Los Angeles Fire Department says around 10,000 residential and commercial structures were under mandatory evacuations, including homes owned by Los Angeles Laker LeBron James, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger.
 
Flames stoked by winds of up to 65-miles-an-hour have swept through the expensive real estate of L.A.'s star-studded hills.

In Brentwood, sleeping residents had to escape their homes in the middle of the night. "It was a neighbor who rang the doorbell and said, 'We got to evacuate; we got to get out right this minute'," one evacuee said.

For a time, the flames forced the shutdown of the southbound lanes of the I-405.

Meanwhile, in the north, the Sonoma County Fire has exploded in size, doubling to more than 105 square miles in just 24 hours.

More than 100,000 are under mandatory evacuation orders, and at least 96 buildings have been destroyed.

Officials say power lines may have caused two fires in the Bay area, even though there have been widespread power shutoffs to keep that from happening.

More than 600,000 people are set to lose power in dozens of California counties. That's on top of the more than two million people who were without power over the weekend in the north.

The Bethel Global Response team from Bethel Church in Redding, California, has a team on the ground in Sonoma County.

Carl Ladd, the ministry's deputy director, told CBN News, "Right now we're partnering with Salvation Army and Red Cross. The focus right now is housing and feeding the displaced; as you guys just mentioned, over 200,000 displaced."

Firefighters will have an opportunity to make progress against the fires today as those high winds die down. Unfortunately, they're expected to pick up again today and tomorrow.

 

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