Hundreds of wildfires burn across California as extreme weather blankets the state
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Lightning-triggered wildfires in northern California exploded on Friday, some becoming the largest in state history, destroying hundreds of homes and other structures. In addition to the dead, 43 firefighters and civilians were injured.
The wildfires started last week, and now more than 12,000 firefighters – with the help of helicopters and tankers – are spread across the state in an attempt to fight the fires.
Three groups of fires, called complexes, burning north, east and south of San Francisco together burned 72,020 square kilometers.
More than 140,000 people are under evacuation orders in the state.
Driver captures apocalyptic scenes while driving through California wildfire
Newsom said crews were fighting 560 fires statewide.
“We are not at all naive about the gravity of this moment and why it is essential … that you obey evacuation orders and take them seriously,” Newsom said.
Firefighters and residents of the state have also pleaded for their support.
South of San Fransico, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, forest fires have forced some 48,000 residents to flee their homes.
A CalFire spokesperson told The Associated Press that crews are working 72-hour shifts to save homes in the Santa Cruz area.
California wildfires explode and become one of the largest in state history
“We are still understaffed for a fire of this magnitude,” CalFire spokesperson said.
San Jose State University professor Scott Myers-Lipton took to Twitter to ask Newsom to help save the Santa Cruz Mountains
“We need HELP in the Santa Cruz Mountains. SEND NATIONAL GUARD NOW! Myers-Lipton tweeted.
– With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
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