California Wildfire Crisis: Wind-Driven Blaze Scorches 11,000 Acres, Forces Evacuations, and Injures Firefighters

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California Wildfire Wreaks Havoc: Wind-Driven Blaze Scorches 11,000 Acres

California Wildfire Crisis Wind-Driven Blaze Scorches 11,000 Acres, Forces Evacuations, and Injures Firefighters
California Wildfire Crisis Wind-Driven Blaze Scorches 11,000 Acres, Forces Evacuations, and Injures Firefighters

Residents Flee Homes as Firefighters Battle Fierce Flames

A wildfire in Tracy, California is raging and has already burned some 11,000 acres across the West coast state, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

The Corral Fire was first reported on Saturday afternoon at around 2.30 pm. By around midnight, the fire was just 13 percent contained, according to the California Fire Department.

Evacuation Orders and Impacted Areas

The fire, which is being driven quickly by wind, jumped Interstate 580, prompting evacuation orders for the communities east of the major artery. Evacuation orders extended to the Tracy Golf and Country Club, as well as the Tesla Treatment Facility.

Firefighters Injured in the Line of Duty

At least two firefighters have been injured attempting to contain the blaze, according to the Santa Clara California Fire Unit. Both were hospitalized with minor to moderate burns.

Origins and Spread of the Fire

The fire reportedly began at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Site 300 on the border of San Joaquin and Alameda counties. Site 300 is home to facilities that support the development of explosive materials, as well as hydrodynamic testing. Those running the site assess the operational ability of non-nuclear weapon components, and test new conventional explosives to potentially add to the nuclear stockpile.

Overnight winds of up to 40 mph were expected to continue spreading the fire. At present, it remains unclear how the blaze began – the investigation into its origins is ongoing.

Controlled Burns and Power Outages

The Tracy Police Department said firefighters will do a controlled burn near Tracy Hills, which is just below the area that’s been evacuated. A controlled burn was previously scheduled for May 28 at the Site 300 lab – the LA Times reports that no controlled burns were conducted Saturday.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reported two fire-related power outages Saturday evening. The first occurred because Cal Fire requested that energy be cut to several lines to ensure the safety of their firefighters. That outage hit roughly 1,600 people. The second, which impacted about 2,350 customers, was caused by damage to PG&E equipment. By late Saturday evening, power was restored to all but about 200 customers.

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