California’s authorities said that the deadly wildfires have doubled in size this weekend. The blaze has scorched nearly 89,000 hectares and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of the local residents.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has asked for resources and international support. The fire, which erupted on Monday and is now the 10th largest in the state’s history, was just seven percent contained.
On Saturday, the U.S. states, Canada and Australia were asked to help to Californian firefighters. The governor noted that Australia is home to “the world’s best wildfire fighters.”
The central and northern parts of California are blanketed with thick smoke, which makes local people flee. As the firefighters say, the current blaze is some of the biggest fires in the state’s history which have raged largely uncontrolled through the week.
According to state authorities, one of the largest group of fires, dubbed the LNU Lightning Complex, has burned nearly 500 structures and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of Californians.
Some of the fires in that complex threatened wineries in the famed Napa and Sonoma regions which are still reeling from similar deadly blazes in recent years.
California struggles with one of the biggest ever wildfire
Governor Newsom said Friday the fires have “disproportionately impacted” the northern part of the state, where tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. Since Monday – when the blaze started – hundreds of homes and other buildings have been destroyed.
“We simply haven’t seen anything like this in many, many years,” Newsom said. “These fires are stretching our resources, our personnel.”
According to the health authorities, at least five people have been killed and 43 injured, including firefighters, in the blazes that have burned through 2,020 square kilometres during a historic heatwave.