Oct. 27 (UPI) — Authorities in California issued additional evacuation orders Sunday morning for Sonoma County residents in the path of the Kincade Fire amid high winds exceeding 80 mph.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said the fire, which had burned through more than 26,000 acres as of Sunday morning, caused mandatory evacuation orders to spread to a total of more than 100,000 homes early Sunday morning as winds reaching over 80 mph created blowtorch-like conditions along the borders of the blaze.
The new evacuation orders were for the Zone 6 areas of Porter Creek, Petrified Forrest, Calistoga and St. Helena Roads, which are under county jurisdiction. Oakmont, Fountaingrove and Rincon Valley, which are also in Zone 6, are under the jurisdiction of the City of Santa Rosa and were not in the mandatory evacuation area.
Energy provider Pacific Gas & Electric said an emergency power shutoff was in effect for an estimated 2.35 million California residents amid fears the fire would spread in high winds. The company said power would be restored as PG&E inspectors and safety patrols determined equipment was safe to use.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office earlier said the evacuation was the largest in more than 25 years.
The fire had been 11 percent contained when the high winds began, pushing the flames beyond the containment borders.
“There were containment lines that were overtaken by the fire,” Cal Fire spokesman Brian Vitorelo told KPIX-TV early Sunday. “The fire continues to increase.”