California blaze forces evacuations as wind spurs blackouts
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Evacuation orders have expanded to parts of Santa Rosa as firefighters struggle to beat back a wind-driven wildfire that started in Northern California’s wine country four days ago.
Authorities issued the order early Sunday as historic winds fueled the fire overnight and prompted the state’s largest utility company to shut power to 2.3 million people to prevent additional wildfires.
Santa Rosa was hit hard by a wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes and killed 22 people two years ago. The evacuation order affects the northwestern section of the city.
California fire officials say the current wildfire, dubbed the Kincade Fire, that began Wednesday night has burned at least 40 square miles and is only 11% contained.
The National Weather Service says wind gusts topped 90 mph Sunday morning in Healdsburg Hills North, a popular tourist attraction in California’s wine country.