Wildfires Leave Californians in the Dark, Running for their Lives

  • Police Chief Michael Moore reported that about 100,000 people in about 20,000 homes had been evacuated.
  • Earlier this week, utility company PG&E cut electricity in Northern California for fear of fires.
  • A fire in Calimesa was started by a garbage truck driver dumping burning trash in to dry grass.

Two people have died from various fires in California, near the city of Los Angeles, authorities reported. More than 1,000 firefighters are working to contain the flames by land and air, as Californians face dangerous fires. The most dangerous was out of control during the early hours of October 11 throughout northern Los Angeles, with tens of thousands of people forced to leave their homes. At the moment the origin of the flames is unknown.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is an American investor-owned utility (IOU) with publicly traded stock that is headquartered in the Pacific Gas & Electric Building in San Francisco, California, United States.

Police Chief Michael Moore reported that about 100,000 people in about 20,000 homes had been evacuated. Meanwhile, fire chief Ralph Terrazas said the fire had grown to more than 18 square kilometers and at least 25 homes have been burned.

Edwin Bernard, a 73-year-old neighbor of Sylmar Township, said he and his wife had to flee their property, and said although they had been able to save their three dogs, they had to abandon their four cats. A previous victim of forest fires, Bernard said that they had been able to rescue their passports and photo albums in a previous fire, but this time there was no time for anything. “The fireman said, ‘go, go, go,'” Bernard said. “It was a whole curtain of fire. There was fire on all sides. We had to leave.”

The fire originated around 9:00 PM on October 10 along the north of the San Fernando Valley, and strong waves of wind spread smoke to southern California. During the day the winds oscillated between 32 and 40 kilometers per hour, according to Terrazas.

Earlier this week, utility company PG&E cut electricity in Northern California for fear of fires. More than two million residents were without power for several hours. The authorities fear that the winds may tear down Pacific Gas & Electric’s transmission lines. Northern California firefighters reported the death of a man who depended on artificial oxygen. He died 12 minutes after Pacific Gas & Electric disconnected power in the area.

Calimesa is a city in Riverside County, California, United States in the Greater Los Angeles area. The population was 7,879 at the 2010 census, up from 7,139 at the 2000 census. It is situated in the San Gorgonio Pass.

Repeated water discharges were made with helicopters and airplanes during the day, while ground crews, made up of more than 1,000 firefighters, struggled to extinguish the flames surrounding homes in Los Angeles. In another fire east of Los Angeles, in the area of ​​La Calimesa (Riverside County about 120 kilometers from Los Angeles), 76 buildings were consumed by flames. The Calimesa fire also caused the evacuation of residents and serious damage.

This conflagration broke out when the driver of a commercial garbage truck dumped burning trash from his vehicle, quickly igniting dry grass. The gusts of up to 80 miles an hour quickly spread the flames. In southern California, the danger of fires is high at this time of year due to the combination of dry conditions and strong winds.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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