Kincade Fire: Wildfires forcing evacuations from Southern California to wine country

Hundreds of firefighters across the state of California are battling multiple wildfires, fueled by dry air, fierce winds and high temperatures.

Over 190,000alifornia customers were in the dark Thursday as power companies preemptively cut electricity in an attempt to keep fires from starting.

The Kincade wildfire began in Sonoma County in Northern California’s wine country Wednesday night. Cal Fire arrived on the scene just after 9:30 p.m. to find a “large fire” burning through hundreds of acres of rough terrain, Cal Fire Cmdr. Mark Parks told reporters in a news conference Thursday.

A home is engulfed in flames as wind and embers rip through the area during the Kincade fire near Geyserville, Calif., Oct. 24, 2019

As of Thursday night the blaze had grown to 16,000 acres, a 6,000-acre increase over the night before. More than 1,300 firefighters are battling the massive fire, which as of Thursday night was 5% contained

Authorities said that so far 49 structures had been destroyed and about 2,000 residents had been evacuated.

“This is not the time to stay,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told reporters.

Flames approach rolling hills of grape vines during the Kincade fire near Geyserville, Calif., Oct. 24, 20

Cal Fire spokesperson Amy Head said the fire is wind driven and it’s hard for crews to keep up.

“We just can’t keep ahead of it … we are almost chasing it and trying to catch up with it,” she said Thursday.

The community of Geyserville was under mandatory orders to evacuate immediately, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

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