Extreme wildfire in California prompts multiple mandatory evacuations

An extreme wildfire in northern California which has expanded to 1,200 acres in just 24 hours, has led to multiple mandatory evacuation orders, under which over 4,000 residents have fled from their homes.

Dubbed Fawn Fire, the fire started some 19 km north of Redding city on Wednesday night, and raged through Thursday afternoon, Xinhua news agency quoted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) as saying.

“I would call it extreme,” Cal Fire spokesperson Robert Foxworthy said on Thursday afternoon.

“There are quite a few mandatory evacuations, and they’re coming out continuously. I would advise people to look at the latest information from the sheriff’s department,” Foxworthy added.

The Fawn Fire has forced 4,000 people to evacuate and “affected” 30,000, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet without elaboration.

Cal Fire also announced on Thursday that a 30-year-old woman, Alexandra Souverneva, was arrested on fire-related charges in the area where the blaze started.

Cal Fire said that it would submit the case to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, recommending Souverneva be charged with “arson to wildland”.

Statewide, more than 9,000 firefighters remained assigned to 10 large and active wildfires, the latest data from Cal Fire showed.

Wildfires in the state has burned 9,507.9 square km of land this year, destroying more than 3,200 homes, commercial properties and other structures.

In California, a mandatory evacuation order means there is an immediate threat to livelihood.