News ID: 273878
Published: 0254 GMT September 07, 2020

California governor declares state of emergency in five counties due to fire

California governor declares state of emergency in five counties due to fire

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in five counties due to wildfires.

The counties include Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Bernardino and San Diego, the governor's office said in a statement late on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The declaration was prompted by the Creek Fire that started on Friday night and rapidly grew to burn some 45,000 acres (18,210 hectares), forcing evacuations and road closures in the Fresno area in central California.

Eight people have been killed and some 3,300 structures have been destroyed over the past three weeks in wildfires across the state.

Over 200 people were airlifted to safety overnight after a fast-moving wildfire cut off the only road out of the Mammoth Pool Reservoir, a popular recreational site in California’s Sierra National Forest.

The fire was caused by a firework set off at a gender reveal party, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has found, reported.

In a statement released late on Sunday, the department said: “The fire began at 10:23 a.m. on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa,” before spreading north.

The agency said the fire was caused by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party.

“With the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire. Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible,” the statement said.



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