On Thursday, a massive fast-moving wildfire erupted driven by high winds and raged out of control that caused to flee some 50,000 people their homes at the north of Los Angeles.
In the early afternoon, the so-called Tick Fire near Santa Clarita, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, broke out. Fire officials said, it quickly consumed 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares).
A major highway along with a number of roads was forced to close as some 500 firefighters backed by air tankers and helicopters tried to control the flames. The blaze burned several homes and structures.
However, there are no immediate reports of injury. A spokesman for the fire department said: “We are urging everybody to evacuate at this time.” The wildfires erupted the most as the state was under a red flag warning because of gusty winds, high temperatures, and low humidity.
California fire officials said in northern California some 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a brush fire erupted late Wednesday, fast-spreading from a blaze of a few hundred acres into a 16,000-acre inferno.
The community of Geyserville and nearby vineyards issued mandatory evacuation orders after the fire grabbed a huge amount of area, crossing a highway and moving towards homes, said the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Winds out of the north were driving the fire as firefighters struggled to save homes. The fire officials further claimed, by early evening the fire was five percent contained and several structures had burned.
On Thursday, in the northern part of the state power was cut to some 180,000 customers and similar preemptive affected thousands of customers further south due to conditions that are ripe for wildfires.
The 68-year-old Dwight Monson told reporters, “We thought we were a couple of miles from the fire.”
“But guess what — the winds,” he added.
“We relied on the protocol and we still, at this point, do not know what exactly happened,” PG&E CEO and president Bill Johnson told a news conference. “This is an emotional time for many people,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told a news conference Thursday. “It’s only been two years since the fires that devastated our community. For many, this will be a very stressful and anxious time.”