2 new wildfires break out in California, burning thousands of acres ‘with a dangerous rate of spread’

Two fast-moving wildfires broke out in Northern California over the weekend and grew by nearly 10,000 acres within hours on Sunday, authorities said.

In Napa County, the Glass Fire burned some 2,500 acres near downtown St. Helena and continues to move “with a dangerous rate of speed,” according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Crews were dispatched to the area just before 4 a.m. Sunday as the fire quickly grew to 20 acres, said Tyree Zander, a spokesman for Cal Fire’s Napa Lake Sonoma Unit.

“And then it went from 20 acres to about 50 acres within an hour, hour and a half,” he said. “And then from 50 acres to 800 acres within a four-hour period.”

Further north in Shasta County, a new blaze named Zogg Fire broke out in Sunday afternoon and grew by at least 7,000 acres within hours, prompting mandatory evacuations across the region.

About 1,500 residents in Napa County were also ordered to evacuate and thousands of others were told to prepare to do so.

The latest fires add to an already-devastating year in California. More than 3.7 million acres of land have burned across the state in 2020, a record in modern history, causing at least 26 deaths and destroying over 7,000 structures.

Fire crews on Sunday night were struggling to contain the new fires, which were caused by hot, dry and windy weather.

The Glass Fire threatened numerous structures and vineyards as it quickly moved uphill, making it hard for crews to get into the area and help evacuees out.

“It’s rugged, steep terrain and limited access, and a lot of it is one-way-in, one-way-out type of roads,” Zander told The Associated Press.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for much of the region, meaning dangerous fire conditions are expected through at least 9 p.m. Monday.

Pacific Gas & Electric announced Sunday it would temporarily shut off power to tens of thousands of California homes to prevent the spread of wildfires.

With News Wire Services