The Buzz | Fire erupts as Californians hit with 2nd round of blackouts

A Northern California wildfire exploded in size yesterday amid dangerous winds that prompted the state’s largest utility to impose electrical blackouts to prevent fires.
Authorities ordered the entire community of Geyserville to evacuate after the fire in the Sonoma County wine region north of San Francisco grew to more than 39 square kilometers. The town has about 900 residents and is a popular stop for wine country tourists.
The cause of the blaze wasn’t immediately known, but wildfire risk was extremely high as humidity levels plunged and winds gusted up to 113 kph. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
The fire came two years after a series of deadly blazes tore through the same area, killing a total of 44 people.
Utilities in California have said the rolling blackouts are designed to keep winds that could gust to 97 kph or more from knocking branches into power lines or toppling them, sparking wildfires. Electrical equipment was blamed for setting several blazes in recent years that killed scores of people and burned thousands of homes.

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