California’s Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state-wide emergency yesterday due to the unprecedented high winds that have led to the Kincade Fire in the state. The blaze has destroyed dozens of homes and wineries, including the iconic Soda Rock Winery built in 1869. The Kincade Fire ignited on Wednesday and spread quickly due to powerful wind gusts up to 145 kilometres per hour.
More than 3,000 firefighters backed by air tankers and helicopters were battling to control the blaze, which was not expected to be contained before 7th of November, fire officials said.
In a bid to reduce the risk of fire, California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, said it expected to turn off power to nearly one million customers across northern and central California. The same type of line was responsible for California’s deadliest wildfire ever, last year’s Camp Fire, which killed 86 people.
PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, has been blamed for several other fires in the state in recent years.