Thứ sáu, 11 15th

Last updateThứ 6, 15 11 2019 5pm

Xã hội - Đời sống - Khoa học

Firefighters Struggle to Contain California Wildfires Before Stronger Wind Gusts

Hundreds of firefighters struggled to contain wind-fueled wildfires Tuesday in the western U.S. state of California ahead of stronger wind gusts expected later in the day.

The most recent fire  broke out Monday near the Getty Museum on the west side of Los Angeles and has since grown to more than 250 hectares, burning down at least eight homes. The area is where some of the city's most expensive houses are located and the fire forced thousands to evacuate.

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A firefighters hoses down flames as a home burns in the Getty fire area along Tigertail Road in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 28, 2019.

Basketball star LeBron James, who lives in the area, said he was evacuated with his family, but had difficulties finding a nearby hotel with vacancies.

"Finally found a place to accommodate us!" the Los Angeles Lakers player wrote on Twitter. "Crazy night man!"

The fire burned Monday close to a major highway  Interstate 405  and commuters posted pictures on social media showing hills around the road on flames. Fire officials are monitoring the threat of low humidity and high winds over the next few days that will make fire-fighting efforts more difficult.

The Getty Fire burns near the Getty Center along the 405 freeway north of Los Angeles, California, Oct. 28, 2019.

The Getty Fire burns near the Getty Center along the 405 freeway north of Los Angeles, California, Oct. 28, 2019.

Officials at the Getty Museum said the fire has not come close to the building, which is made of thick stone walls to protect it from flames.

California firefighters are simultaneously battling several blazes in the state, including a large fire in Sonoma County in the north that his home to many of the state's famous wineries.

Fire officials are hopeful that, even as winds pick up again Tuesday, the days that follow will bring what forecasters said would be much more favorable conditions to allow crews to bring the Kincade Fire under containment.

The blaze covered more than 30,000 hectares, was 15% contained and had destroyed more than 120 structures by late Monday.

Flames from the Kincade Fire consume Soda Rock Winery, Oct 27, 2019, in Healdsburg, California.

Flames from the Kincade Fire consume Soda Rock Winery, Oct 27, 2019, in Healdsburg, California.

Sonoma County officials let some people return to their homes after lifting evacuation orders, and said they understand the anxiety and frustration of those still waiting to get back into areas deemed to be still too dangerous.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the White House has been in contact with state and local officials in California, including Governor Gavin Newsom.

"Federal resources have been made available and we continue to work with the governor and his staff to determine if additional support is necessary. The president will continue to monitor the situation," he said.

California is commonly hit by numerous wildfires at this time of year, with the combination of low humidity and strong winds combining to create favorable conditions for fire growth.

The California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric said Monday power lines may have sparked two wildfires last weekend in the San Francisco Bay area. The utility shut off power to nearly one million homes and businesses across Northern California, some with little notice, as part of a strategy to prevent surges from downed power lines sparking more fires.  The company said Monday it had restored service to 325,000 of those customers, but would be cutting power to 600,000 in a fresh round of shutoffs Tuesday.

Stephanie LaFranchi, right, and Ashley LaFranchi examine the remains of their family's Oak Ridge Angus ranch, leveled by a wildfire called Kincade Fire, in Calistoga, Calif., Oct. 28, 2019.

Stephanie LaFranchi, right, and Ashley LaFranchi examine the remains of their family's Oak Ridge Angus ranch, leveled by a wildfire called Kincade Fire, in Calistoga, Calif., Oct. 28, 2019.

Businesses are angry that the power cuts have cost them tens of thousands of dollars, and residents bitterly complain about the inconvenience of going days without electricity, especially those who need power for lifesaving medical devices.

California authorities blame PG&E lines for sparking last year's wildfires that killed 85 people and destroyed entire towns. The utility, facing billions of dollars in lawsuits, was forced to declare bankruptcy earlier this year.

Newsom, who had criticized the utilities, said the state will spend $75 million to help residents and businesses deal with the power cuts.  He said the state has a lot of work to do toward putting electrical wires underground and to manage forests in order to prevent both wildfire damage and the need to shut off the power.

Source: https://www.voanews.com/usa/firefighters-struggle-contain-california-wildfires-stronger-wind-gusts

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