Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency Sunday, due to wildfires and extreme weather conditions, with nearly 200,000 people ordered to leave their homes, the Associated Press reports.
Newsom said officials are using “every resource available” to counter the wildfires, including a huge blaze in Northern California’s wine country that’s spreading from strong winds.
Smoke from a second wildfire in the San Francisco Bay Area momentarily stopped traffic on a bridge. Later, the grass fires forced the bridge to shut down. In southern California, a wildfire north of Los Angeles—in the Santa Clarita area—has ravaged 18 structures.
Cal Fire Division Chief Jim Crawford said on Sunday that an ember from one blaze could have possibly started the other, but they won’t find out until the investigation is over.
Meanwhile, the fires have shut down a six-mile stretch of Interstate 80. California is on alert as strong winds whip throughout the state
Last fall, California experienced the deadliest and most destructive fire in history: northern California’s Camp Fire, which burned across 154,000 acres in Northern California, destroying nearly 14,000 homes and killing up to 85 people. Around the same time, the Woolsey Fire in southern California claimed the lives of at least three people.