The Latest: Evacuation ordered for wine country town

GEYSERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a raging wildfire in the Northern California wine country (all times local):

7:30 a.m.

Northern California authorities have ordered the entire town of Geyserville evacuated as a wind-driven wildfire rages through the wine country north of San Francisco Bay.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office issued orders for immediate evacuation of the community shortly before dawn Thursday.

Geyserville has about 900 residents and is a popular stop for wine country tourists.

The fire erupted late Wednesday and exploded in size overnight to more than 15 square miles (39 square kilometers),

At least three homes have burned. There are no reports of injuries.

A statement from the sheriff’s office says: “If you’re in Geyserville, leave now.”

___

7:20 a.m.

An Associated Press photographer has seen three homes destroyed by a wind-driven wildfire that is raging through wine country in Sonoma County north of San Francisco.

The photographer reported Thursday that the homes burned in the community of Jimtown.

The fire erupted late Wednesday and expanded to more than 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) before dawn Thursday as powerful winds swept the region.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations have been ordered but the number of people affected is not known. There are no reports of injuries.

___

12:15 a.m.

Hundreds of thousands of Californians are without power for the second time in two weeks as dangerously windy weather prompts safety shutdowns.

Pacific Gas & Electric on Wednesday and Thursday cut power to about a half-million people from the Sierra foothills to portions of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Outages that could last 48 hours seek to keep gusts from pummeling power lines and sparking devastating wildfires.

Northern winds are expected to ease Thursday but pick up where Southern California Edison warned it might black out about 308,000 customers. San Diego Gas & Electric warned about 24,000 customers could lose power.

PG&E blacked out about 2 million people just two weeks ago, drawing criticism. The utility says outages were more targeted this time, but more are possible Saturday with dry gusts in the north.

Categories: California News