Article image Los Angeles wildfire spreads - 100000 ordered to evacuate

Henrietta Brewer
October 11, 2019

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shut off power on the major transmission lines but rerouted them to avoid widespread outages.

"There are now evacuations underway being directed by firefighters in the neighborhood affected", fire officials said.

Low humidity and gusty Santa Ana winds have helped spread the fire, which broke out Thursday night near the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, and those winds are expected to continue into the afternoon Friday. Meanwhile, about 300,000 residents remain without electricity in Northern California after Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally cut power to prevent wildfires caused by high winds downing live power equipment. The fire started near Sylmar northeast of the interchange of the 210 and 5 freeways, jumped those highways and kept running to the southwest north of the 118 near the densely populated Granada Hills area. The fire has damaged at least 25 houses and closed down several freeways in Los Angeles County.

The fire began when a trash truck dumped burning garbage into dry grass, CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett reports. "We added a bunch of resources to it to try and get a hold of it, but obviously the weather and the fuels have allowed it to expand". An 89-year-old woman, Lois Arvickson, was missing, according to her son. "If they were energized, they could've ignited", Singh said.

Because of the risky weather in the forecast, PG&E cut power Wednesday to an estimated 2 million people in an area that spanned the Bay Area, the wine country north of San Francisco, the agricultural Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada foothills.

California's governor, Gavin Newsom, criticized PG&E on Thursday, and customers complained about the inconveniences caused by the unprecedented blackouts that began midweek. It was unacceptable that its websites crashed, maps were inconsistent and call centers were overloaded, Johnson said.

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