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California wildfires force major evacuation

Fast-moving wildfires forced evacuation orders for more than 1,00,000 people and seriously injured two firefighters in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes.

A smoky fire exploded in size to over 29 sq. km after breaking out around dawn in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. Gusts pushed flames along brushy ridges in Silverado Canyon and near houses in the sprawling city of Irvine, home to about 2,80,000 residents. There was no containment.

Nearby, a much smaller fire in the Yorba Linda area prompted the evacuation of at least 10,000 people, officials said.

Scientists have said climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable. October and November are traditionally the worst months for fires, but already this year 8,600 wildfires in the state have scorched a record 16,600 sq. km and destroyed about 9,200 homes and other buildings.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 2:34:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/california-wildfires-force-major-evacuation/article32957811.ece

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