US officials on Saturday ordered about 50,000 people to evacuate parts of the San Francisco Bay area in California as hot dry winds are forecast to fan raging wildfires.
“We are announcing an evacuation of approximately 50,000 people,” Mark Essick, sheriff for Sonoma county, told reporters. “We’re evacuating because this fire is very dangerous.”
Concise News had reported that the Kincade fire had engulfed 10,000 acres of land in Sonoma County and is not yet contained, the state’s fire protection department says.
It is being driven by powerful winds and is moving south, a California fire spokeswoman said.
California is still recovering from wildfires last year that killed about 100 people.
The fire is moving some 75 miles (120km) north of San Francisco.
Wind gusts of up to 70mph (112km/h) have affected much of the state, the AP news agency reports. The winds are expected to die down on Friday but will pick back up again at the weekend.