California Wildfires Force Evacuations in Sonoma and Napa Counties

By Azi Paybarah and 

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to wildfires in California, as the state gave evacuation orders and battled the effects of a sweltering heat wave, rolling blackouts and the coronavirus pandemic.

By early Wednesday morning, the state fire authorities had ordered residents to evacuate in parts of Santa CruzSan Mateo, Napa and Sonoma Counties, in Northern California, where thunderstorms brought lightning strikes this week.

The largest fire in the region, called the SCU Lightning Complex, had spread to 35,000 acres in several counties east of San Jose and was 4 percent contained. Another fire, called the LNU Lightning Complex fire, was quickly growing north of the Bay Area, with 32,000 acres burned by about 9:30 Tuesday night.