New California fire scorches wine country near San Francisco

timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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Environment News: The new fires erupted on Sunday in the famed Napa-Sonoma wine region in far Northern California's Shasta County, forcing hasty evacuations of neighbor
A house burns on Platina Road at the Zogg Fire near Ono, California

A home bursts into flames from the Shady Fire as it approaches Santa Rosa, California

SAINT HELENA, CALIFORNIA: California firefighters battled destructive new wildfires in wine country north of San Francisco on Monday as strong winds fanned flames in the already badly scorched state.The new fires erupted on Sunday in the famed Napa-Sonoma wine region in far Northern California 's Shasta County, forcing hasty evacuations of neighborhoods.In wine country, flames engulfed the distinctive Chateau Boswell Winery north of St Helena, The Black Rock Inn in the small community of St Helena and multiple homes in the city of Santa Rosa, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Residents of a senior home were among those evacuated.The Adventist Health St Helena hospital suspended care and transferred all patients elsewhere, according to a statement on its website.The wine country blaze had burned 17 square miles (44 square kilometers) as of early Monday, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection, or Cal fire.Numerous studies in recent years have linked bigger wildfires in America to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, especially because climate change has made California much drier. A drier California means plants are more flammable.Evacuations were also ordered in Shasta County as that fire spread.The causes of both new fires were under investigation.During the weekend, the pacific gas and electric utility turned off electricity to targeted areas where the winds raised the potential for arcing or other power equipment damage that could spark new fires.So far this year, more than 8,100 California wildfires have scorched 5,780 square miles (14,970 square kilometers), destroyed more than 7,000 buildings and killed 26 people.Most of the losses occurred after a frenzy of dry lightning strikes in mid-August ignited a massive outbreak of fires.Power will be shut off for 65,000 Northern California electric customers in 16 counties to prevent the spread of wildfires that have engulfed areas of the state, officials said on Sunday.Pacific gas and electric, the nation's largest electric utility, shut off power to 11,000 customers beginning at 4am on Sunday and planned to cut service to another 54,000 customers by 8pm.The company expected to have power restored by Monday evening to all customers.PG&E incident commander Mark Quinlan said the initial plan was to temporarily cut service to 89,000 customers but continuous monitoring enabled the company to reduce the number by 27%.The initial power outage for 11,000 customers occurred in Butte and Plumas counties.The second shutdown phase…
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