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Fire Updates- Evacuations Ongoing as Bay Area Swallowed by the Multiple Blaze

Fire Updates- Evacuations Ongoing as Bay Area Swallowed by the Multiple Blaze

California fires are still burning the area. The record heat threatening firefighters in their work to reduce the flame. A firefighting helicopter pilot was killed in a crash, more than 349,000 acres have burned in Northern and Central California — the equivalent of 546 square miles, more than the land area of the entire city of Los Angeles. At least 134 structures have been destroyed, and the fire-fanning weather conditions that have brought record temperatures and thousands of lightning strikes in the past few days are not expected to abate soon.The blazes forced tens of thousands of people to flee their dwellings.

Nearly 11,000 lightning strikes were documented during a 72-hour stretch this week in the heaviest spate of thunderstorms to hit California in more than a decade, igniting 367 individual fires. Almost two dozen of them have grown into major conflagrations, authorities said.

Multiple fires raced through hills and mountains adjacent to Northern California’s drought-parched wine country, shutting down Interstate 80 at Fairfield, about 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Sacramento, as flames leapt across the highway, trapping motorists caught in a hectic evacuation.

Evacuations widened in the San Francisco Bay Area overnight as wildfires ringing the region scorched hundreds of square miles of land, edged toward San Jose and produced perhaps the world’s worst air quality.

The largest cluster of fires overnight was in wine country, the LNU Lightning Complex fire, which has blackened a combined 124,100 acres and triggered the evacuation of nonessential personnel from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County and patients from Adventist Health St. Helena hospital in Napa County.

In Sonoma County, the entire city of Healdsburg was under an evacuation warning early Thursday.

Fires were also prompting evacuation orders on the eastern edge of San Jose, a result of the SCU Lightning Complex fire, which has burned 102,000 acres in multiple locations generally east of Silicon Valley and the East Bay and west of the Central Valley. Flames were nearing the famed Lick Observatory, which serves astronomers from the University of California.

Police in the nearby town of Vacaville reported that advancing flames had prompted the evacuation of a state prison there and a medical facility for inmates.

Vacaville fire department's latest updates shows, There is no estimated time for lifting the evacuation orders. We're continuing to monitor hot areas and weather forecasts in making these decision. We recognize the impact these evacuations have on your lives and we appreciate your cooperation. Evacuation orders remain in effect for neighborhoods west of Browns Valley Pkwy., North Alamo, Foothill, and areas west of North Orchard and north of Fruitvale.

Additional evacuation orders were issued in the path of the CZU August Lightning Complex fire, which was raging in the remote mountainous area southwest of Silicon Valley, on the border of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. That fire has burned 25,000 acres and forced the evacuation of more than 22,000 people, officials said Wednesday night.

In San Mateo County, the CZU August Lightning Complex fire was threatening the communities of Pescadero and La Honda. In Santa Cruz County, structures have been lost in the Swanton Road area, and a Cal Fire station was under threat.

“That makes that threat very direct and very real,” he said. “We’re doing everything we possibly can to protect life and property.”

According to the website PurpleAir, the Bay Area was home to the world’s worst air quality overnight Thursday. Air quality is especially bad in Silicon Valley, San Mateo County and Livermore Valley, according to local air quality management officials.

“Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses,” the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said. “Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema” and other chronic respiratory ailments.

The National Weather Service office for the Bay Area warned that elevated fire weather would persist into Thursday morning, with possible gusty winds in the higher elevations.

“Very dry and warm conditions will persist across the interior and in the region`'s higher elevations,” the weather service said. “Smoky and hazy conditions are likely to impact portions of the region through at least this upcoming weekend.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, 367 major fires were burning statewide, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“This fire season has been very active and, not surprisingly, that activity has taken shape in a number of counties up and down the state,” he said during a news briefing.

At this time last year, crews had responded to a total of 4,007 fires throughout the state, Newsom said. They’ve already been dispatched to 6,754 this year.

The rapid outbreak of new blazes has stretched the state’s firefighting resources to their limit.

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