Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency Sunday in response to wildfires burning across California that have threatened homes and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents over the past few days.
The ongoing threat of fire has also resulted in California’s utilities shutting off power for large portions of the state.
“We’re deploying every resource available to respond to these fires and unprecedented high-winds,” Newsom said in a statement. “If you live in an affected area, please stay safe, alert, and heed all warnings from local officials.”
With ongoing wildfires, the Governor widened the state of emergency he had declared Friday covering Sonoma and Los Angeles counties due to the Kincade and Tick fires to cover the entire state.
Federal grant money has been secured to help ensure the availability of resources and enable local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs, according to the Governor’s office.
In San Diego County, a wildfire in Valley Center was 90% contained Sunday, while a second fire east of Ramona is now 95% contained, according to Cal Fire San Diego.
The “Miller Fire” in Valley Center was a wind-driven wildfire that blackened 37 acres, destroyed a home and forced evacuations. It broke out 1 p.m. Friday amid hot, arid and gusty Santa Ana conditions in the area of Cole Grade Road and Miller Lane, about three miles west of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, Cal Fire said.
Deputies cleared residents out of homes on various roads in the area, including Ava Lane, Cole Grade Road, Cole Grade Lane, Cool Valley Road, Coyote Run, Little Quail Run, Puma Trail, Saddleback Road, Villa Sierra Road and Wilhite Lane. Authorities also closed Cole Grade Road to through traffic at Miller Lane, Oak Glen Place and Valley Center Road.
Evacuation orders were lifted late Saturday.
The other fast-moving wildfire scorched nearly 100 open acres east of Ramona. That blaze, dubbed the “Sawday Fire,” burned near the Witch Creek community off Sawday Truck Trail and Little Page Road.
Officials said the Sawday fire was 95% contained as of 6 p.m. Sunday.
The causes of both fires were unclear.
Meantime, the state has issues wildfire preparedness tips:
Know your community’s evacuation plans:
- Prepare an emergency kit now.
- Find several ways to leave your area.
- Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations.
- Have a plan for pets and livestock.
Keep track of fires near you so you can be ready:
- Listen to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for emergency alerts.
- I want to extend deep gratitude to the firefighters, first responders, and all local, state, and federal personnel fighting to contain multiple blazes across California.
“Please continue to heed warnings from local officials, stay alert, and take care of each other,” Newsom said.
— City News Service and staff reports