Wildfires spreading across California have destroyed thousands of structures and sent people fleeing as towns and forests throughout the state burn. Several active fires are burning in parts of Northern California, and further south, a number of fires are centered in the Los Angeles area, according to a California wildfire map.
Windy weather throughout California has sparked the risk of extreme fire danger, according to the Associated Press. Tens of thousands of residents in Northern California ran from a wildfire that quickly moved through the Paradise area, causing multiple injuries to firefighters and people. A wildfire north of Los Angeles burned up to 15 square miles, destroying at least one home Thursday. Early Friday, the city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate as a wildfire approached the coastal area.
Fires are expected to continue through Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s the latest on the California wildfires.
Where are the California wildfires?
The above wildfire map from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows fires burning in several parts of the state. Fires are spreading through multiple national forests, including the Sierra Nevada National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest.
The California wildfire map also shows fires burning in the areas north and south of of San Francisco and parts surrounding Los Angeles.
How big are the California wildfires?
A wildfire burning in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas quadrupled in size, cutting power off from more than 23,000 homes and businesses late Thursday. The fires grew to 20,000 acres from 5,000 earlier Thursday. The entire town of Paradise, Calif. was scorched, with more than a thousand buildings destroyed.
Wildfires also broke out in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, causing evacuations and burning about 12,000 acres. At least 75,000 homes in western Los Angeles and eastern Ventura County were evacuated. The city of Malibu was under mandatory evacuation orders Friday morning. Residents were advised to avoid canyon roads and use the Pacific Coast Highway as they evacuated.
Where are people being evacuated?
Authorities on Thursday issued mandatory evacuation orders in rural areas of Northern California, the AP reports. The 27,000 residents of Paradise, Calif., were ordered to evacuate the area on Thursday. Staff and 41 patients at the Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise were evacuated to other hospitals because it was close to the oncoming wildfire. Highway 70, located near the wildfire, was closed down and the California Highway Patrol asked drivers to avoid the road.
In Southern California, authorities quickly issued evacuation orders on Thursday as fires erupted near Ventura County. Residents of the Camarillo Springs community and a trailer park were evacuated.
Schools and hospitals also evacuated. California State University ordered evacuations Thursday afternoon, citing poor air quality.
Air quality alert issued in San Francisco and surrounding areas
Air quality in San Francisco and areas around it were rated in an unhealthy range, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which issued a red alert and warned residents to close windows, stay hydrated and stay inside when possible.
“The Bay Area will experience air quality impacts as smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County, northeast of the Bay Area, moves in to the region,” the alert reads. “Most of the smoke is expected to remain aloft but the public will likely see and smell smoke from the quickly expanding Camp Fire.”