San Francisco, 21 August 2020 (dpa/MIA) – More than 10,000 firefighters were on Thursday fighting two dozen major fires in the US state of California that have driven thousands of people from their homes.
At least four people have died, US media reported. Three people died in Napa County and one in Solano County, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Over 370 fires have burned in total in the state in the past four days, Cal Fire assistant deputy director Daniel Berlant said.
Extreme heat, wind and lightning strikes had exacerbated the situation.
North of San Francisco, one of the larger fires threatened the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine regions. More than 50,000 hectares of land there are charred, dozens of houses burned to the ground.
Larger fires also raged near the coastal towns of Santa Cruz and Carmel.
They caused major damage in California‘s oldest state nature park, Big Basin Redwoods, which is known for its giant sequoias. Campsites and hiking trails were closed.
In Santa Cruz, the harbour pier popular with tourists was closed to keep visitors away from the region.
California Governor Gavin Newsom called the fires an “unprecedented challenge.
“If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” he said in a short video shown at the mostly online US Democratic Party Convention.
President Donald Trump again criticized California‘s forestry measures during an election campaign appearance in the state of Pennsylvania on Thursday.
“Maybe we’re just going to have to make (California) pay for it, because they don’t listen to us,” he said, according to pool reports.