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California Fires Live Updates: Blazes Threaten 25,000 Structures

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AdvertisementSupported byFast-moving fires are spreading across Northern California, with wind-whipped flames sending people out of their homes.Right NowTravis Air Force Base mandated the evacuation of all “non-mission essential personnel” as fires approached.Wildfires tore through Northern California on Wednesday, spreading rapidly and engulfing dozens of homes as firefighters battled to stop the blazes, which have forced thousands of evacuations and were caused by an extraordinary number of lightning strikes in recent days.A group of fires west of Sacramento, known as the L.N.U. Lightning Complex, doubled in size throughout the day, growing to 124,000 acres and threatening about 25,000 structures after forcing evacuations in Vacaville, Cal Fire officials said.Four civilians have been injured and 175 structures have been destroyed or damaged by those fires, which are 0 percent contained as strong winds enter the area. The burning area, which is northeast of Santa Cruz and 0 percent contained, was largely inaccessible for fire crews because of the terrain, Cal Fire officials said.Stretched thin, fire officials have requested 375 fire engines from fire agencies in other states and have pleaded with residents to be ready to flee their homes when instructed.[Sign up for California Today, our daily newsletter from the Golden State.]Travis Air Force Base in Solano County mandated the evacuation of all “non-mission essential personnel” as the L.N.U. Lightning Complex fires approached on Wednesday night, temporarily closing Interstate 80 north of the base.More than 14,000 people are employed at the base about 10 miles southeast of Vacaville, where residents awoke early Wednesday morning to fire trucks blaring evacuation orders. The crews were fighting on Wednesday afternoon to keep the nearby Big Creek Lumber mill from going up in flames.Fighting this complex of fires during the pandemic has not been a huge challenge, Ms. Collamer said, but firefighters are wearing masks at all times and avoiding close contact with the public.The wildfires burning in Northern California are spreading smoke across a wide region, with the National Weather Service’s Bay Area office warning on Twitter that air quality in the area will be “very poor for the foreseeable future.”In many parts of the Bay Area, the air quality index was higher than 200, a level at which “everyone may experience more serious health effects if they are exposed for 24 hours,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.That reading was high compared to other cities that often have poor air quality, like Delhi, which had an air quality index of 154 on Wednesday, and Beijing, where that number has hovered around 150 this week.

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