Fast-moving wildfire spreads in the hills of San Francisco Bay Area community prompting evacuations despite power being cut for 1.5 MILLION people in California in bid to prevent blazes caused by downed electricity lines

Thursday, October 10, 2019
By Paul Martin

Evacuations were ordered Thursday due to fast-moving wildfire in hills of San Francisco Bay Area community
Police ordered evacuations in Sanders Ranch neighborhood; residents were told to take essential items
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says flames consumed about 60 acres in two hours
So far, fire has not caused any injuries or damaged any structures; cause of fire remains under investigation
The evacuations come just a day after power was cut in several parts of California for 1.5 million residents
Pacific Gas and Electric cut power in areas to prevent deadly wildfires like the Camp Fire, which killed 86
Cal Fire also warned California residents that fire danger this fall is predicted to be ‘extreme’ across the state

By VALERIE EDWARDS
DAILYMAIL.COM
10 October 2019

Evacuations have been ordered as a fast-moving wildfire spreads in the hills of a San Francisco Bay Area community just a day after the electricity was cut for more than a million people in California in a bid to prevent blazes caused by downed power lines.

Moraga-Orinda firefighters responded to the scene near the St Mary’s College campus early Thursday. The school does not appear threatened at this time.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) says the flames consumed about 60 acres in a little over two hours.

Moraga police ordered evacuations in the town’s Sanders Ranch neighborhood. Residents were told to take only essential items.

According to the Moraga-Orinda Fire District, firefighters responded to the blaze around 12.54am.

‘Due to the rapid spread of the fire on steep slopes near several homes, evacuations were ordered using the Community Warning System and an evacuation center established at St Monica‚Äôs Church,’ a statement from the department reads.

By 3.30am, firefighters had the fire at 60 per cent containment and by 8am, the fire was at 70 per cent containment. About 150 firefighters responded to the scene.

So far, the fire has not caused any injuries or damaged any structures. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The community in Contra Costa County is part of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) ongoing pre-emptive electricity shutdowns.

Millions of Californians played a waiting game with the winds Thursday as PG&E watched the weather before deciding whether to restore power to an enormous portion of the state blacked out on purpose.

The state’s largest utility pulled the plug to prevent a repeat of the past two years when wind-blown power lines sparked deadly wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes.

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