Tens of thousands evacuated

In all, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), more than 50,000 California residents have evacuated due to fires that are burning some 780 square miles across the state. That's an area equal to about half the size of Rhode Island.

Tens of thousands were under evacuation orders in regions around the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday. Smoke blanketed the city, and could be seen from space, per satellites at the National Weather Service.

The ash and smoke in the San Francisco air came from at least seven fires — known as the LNU Lightning Complex — that had burned more than 100 buildings, including some homes, and threatened 25,000 others in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano counties.

Residents of Vacaville were roused before dawn Wednesday by orders to flee.

“The whole sky was red orange...it was massive. I’ve never seen anything like it and it only took a few minutes to get here,” Karen Hansen, who left her small farm as flames approached Tuesday, told the Associated Press.

“You can taste smoke in your mouth," John Gardiner, 60, added.


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