Wildfires raged through Northern California on Thursday, threatening thousands of homes and blackening the skies near San Francisco as crews struggled to surround them despite steep terrain and blistering heat.
The fires, many caused by lightning and sometimes pushed by strong winds, had burned hundreds of thousands of acres as they chewed through brushland, rural areas, canyon country and dense forest to the north, east and south of San Francisco. Fires also carved their way through the wine country and the Sierra Nevada. In addition to about two dozen major blazes, small fires kept erupting, though most were quickly stopped. Hundreds of fires have erupted since the start of the week as a heat wave accompanied by humid air created a dangerous mix of triple-digit temperatures and thunderstorms that flashed lightning. California had recorded nearly 11,000 strikes in 72 hours, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. Two fires in Solano County prompted evacuation orders for 8,000 residents near the Russian River Wednesday and residents of Healdsburg, which has a population of about 12,000, were warned late Wednesday night to be ready to flee. Today on AirTalk, we get the latest on the fires.
With files from the Associated Press
Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director and spokesperson for Cal Fire