25,000 residents flee wildfire in southern California

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San Francisco, Dec 5 (IANS) About 25,000 residents have been evacuated due to a wind-driven wildfire occurring near Irvine City in southern California, according to local firefighting authorities.

However, some evacuation orders were lifted by Friday as winds are expected to decrease through the weekend, Xinhua news agency quoted the Orange County Fire Authority as saying Twitter.

Meanwhile, two firefighters were injured on Thursday as they fought the wildfire, but currently have been released from the hospital, it said.

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The fire, dubbed Bond Fire, erupted at around 10.15 p.m. Wednesday at a house, and then continued to grow throughout the night as gusty Santa Ana winds spread the flames.

About 500 firefighters, backed by helicopters, have been sent there to battle the blaze.

The strongest winds were forecast to last into Saturday.

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Utilities in the populous region began cutting power Wednesday to customers as a precaution to prevent more wildfires.

The fire was about 10 per cent contained on Friday afternoon and has charred an area of 6,400 acres, local reports said.

According to the latest data updated by the National Geographic Area Coordination Center on Thursday, nearly 14 million acres have burned across the US this fire season, twice the 10-year average and the most acres burned since reliable record-keeping began in 1983.

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Five of the six largest fires in California’s history were reported this year.

California also witnessed worse devastation, with 4,359,517 acres scorched by a staggering 9,485 fires, with 10,488 structures destroyed or damaged and at least 31 fatalities.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 2020 was the largest wildfire season recorded in the state’s history.

–IANS

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