Nikita Wozniak ‘20, Circulation Manager
On Oct. 24, it was reported that the Kincade Fire exceeded 21,000 acres in Sonoma County, California. The fire, swept by extreme winds, continues to rage and grow. The nearby community of Geyserville was forced to evacuate, and PG&E Company’s electrical equipment is at risk of severe damage. If said equipment becomes too damaged, it could add fuel to the fire and cause even more drastic problems.
Cal Fire, the California fire department, reported that the fire had reached 21,900 acres as of 7 a.m. on Friday Oct. 25, up from 16,000 acres 12 hours earlier. According to fire officials, 2,000 people remained under evacuation orders. As of Friday morning, Oct. 25, the fire was still only five percent contained.
As winds slowed down, PG&E filed a report with the Public Utilities Commission. A 230-kilovolt transmission tower malfunctioned near the ignition point. The utility added that a Cal Fire investigator found a broken jumper wire on the tower. Although Cal Fire said it did not know the cause of the fire, if it turns out to be PG&E’s fault, then the company would be forced to either go to court or shut down entirely.
In November 2018, there was a fire at a local camp that killed 85 people and destroyed most of Paradise, California. A faulty transmission tower was blamed for the fire and sent PG&E spiraling into court, where it is struggling to fight off possible bankruptcy.
As of Nov. 5, 2019, the Kincade Fire had been active for 11 days, destroyed 434 homes and other buildings, and had spread over 77,758 acres. There have been only four confirmed fire personnel and civilian injuries, and a little over 78 percent of the fire has been contained. Senior Ashley Koth was asked how the fires impacted her and her family, and she replied, “I am really concerned about my family’s well being in California right now. I hope the best for everyone else that has been affected as well.”
In the midst of all this devastation, the American Red Cross is on the ground in California, hosting temporary emergency shelters and food sites across the state. If you wish to help or support, donations can be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief via http://www.redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Photo courtesy of Jane Tyska, Forbes