early 180,000 people are without power and hundreds have been evacuated as a fast-moving wildfire rages through California’s wine country.
The Kincade fire has engulfed 10,000 acres of land in Sonoma County and is not contained, the state’s fire protection department says.
It is being driven by powerful winds and is moving south, a California fire spokeswoman said.
The strongest of the winds was said to have subsided by Thursday morning.
The fire is moving some 75 miles (120km) north of San Francisco.
Wind gusts of up to 70mph have affected much of the state, the AP news agency reports.
More than 900 residents of the town of Geyserville, Sonoma County, have been ordered to evacuate by fire officials.
An evacuation warning has also been issued in the nearby town of Healdsburg.
“This fire is moving fast, please pay attention to evacuation orders,” state Senator Mike McGuire tweeted.
“CalFire continues to mobilize major resources from throughout NorCal for the #KincadeFire,” he wrote on Thursday morning. “Engines, bulldozers and personnel started flowing in overnight and will continue thru the day.”
Pacific Gas & Electric has already shut off power in 15 southern California counties, affecting about 178,000 people.
More than 308,000 customers in seven counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura, are under consideration for power shutoffs, according to the Southern California Edison.
According to the LA Times, some 10 air tankers and helicopters have been deployed to combat the fire from above.
The fire is believed to have started in a mountainous area near Kincade Road and Burned Mountain Road. Its cause is not yet known.
Earlier this month, wildfires razed 4,700 acres north of Los Angeles, California, and forced thousands to flee.
Source - bbc