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Nearly 50,000 people are ordered to evacuate and PG&E will cut power to more than 3 million people over ‘historic wind event’ as nine fires burn across California and the company admits it may have sparked blazes

  • New evacuations were ordered for at least 50,000 people living in Sonoma County on Saturday 
  • PG&E also announced it would cut power to 940,000 homes and businesses in 36 counties for 48 hours or longer throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, wine country and Sierra foothills 
  • Cuts could begin at 3pm on Saturday and last for at least two days
  • The potentially affected areas are the Northern Sierra Foothills, North Bay/Mendocino, the Bay Area/ Central Coast/ South Sierra Foothills and Kern County 
  • Winds are expected to reach 70mph this weekend  
  • California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Sonoma and Los Angeles counties
  • He said of PG&E: ‘They simply did not do their job. We will hold them accountable. This cannot continue’ 
  • The utility company say up to 2.1 million people in Northern and Central California could lose power 
  • A PG&E high-voltage power line malfunctioned minutes before a Northern California wildfire broke out 
  • 2,000 people have been evacuated, 49 homes have been destroyed and 21,900 acres have been burned
  • California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said just five percent of the fire has been contained  
  • There are currently nine active wildfires in California including the Cabrillo Fire, Kincade Fire, Muir Fire and Nelson Fire in the north; and the Mines Fire, Saddle Ridge Fire and Tick Fire in the south

New evacuations were ordered Saturday for at least 90,000 people across a huge swath of Northern California as millions of Californians prepare to have their power cut – the third time in as many weeks – due to the wildfires whipped up by strong winds.

The entire communities of Healdsburg and Windsor were ordered to evacuate ahead of severe winds that could lead to erratic fire behavior near the blaze burning in wine country.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said it is expected to be the biggest evacuation in the county in more than 25 years.