California Power Outage 2019: PG&E Restores Power Despite Wildfires In SoCal, LA

Josh Edelson  AFP  Getty Images
Businesses continue to burn under a darkened smokey sky in Paradise north of Sacramento Calif. Nov. 09 2018

Josh Edelson AFP Getty Images Businesses continue to burn under a darkened smokey sky in Paradise north of Sacramento Calif. Nov. 09 2018

The threat of wildfire in California is high, and there were several wildfires burning across the northern part of the state.

A fierce wildfire that erupted in Southern California on October 10 destroyed homes and structures and caused "numerous medical emergencies" at a Riverside County mobile home park, fire officials said.

Winds of 20-30 miles per hour winds are expected to continue through early afternoon with gusts up to 50 miles per hour in the fire zone, along with very low humidity - 3%-10% - making it a challenge for firefighters who are trying to get the blaze under control.

"We need people to leave now while they can", fire officials warned on Friday morning.

Still, some homeowners were seen using garden hoses to try to put out flames on their property, officials said.

One death is being blamed on the blaze, and it's estimated that 31 structures have been destroyed or damaged.

By 10am local time (6pm BST) on Friday, the fire had spread more than seven square miles, burning at least 25 homes and forcing the closure of several freeways.

The Saddleridge Fire started around 9 p.m. ET and jumped the 210 and 5 freeways, and some parts those roads and the 405 were closed as orange embers lit up the night sky.

"It's been a battle", Dave Richardson, Chief Deputy of the Los Angeles County Fire Deopartment, said at the news conference.

Helicopters and planes are making repeated drops of water and fire retardant as about 1,000 firefighters on the ground attack the flames in and around homes. The metro line in the area was also shut as were schools and businesses.

More than a million Californians were without electricity due to pre-emptive blackouts Thursday, but localized fires broke out as hot, windy conditions spread south toward Los Angeles.

Firefighters have been able to quickly contain most of the other blazes that erupted across California in recent days.

The victim was a man, in his 50s, who died of a cardiac arrest as he attempted to fight the fire.

Residents are under mandatory evacuation orders, and 120 firefighters are assigned to the area.

More than half a million people in the state were left in the dark Thursday after electricity companies switched off the power to prevent faulty lines sparking a repeat of last year's infernos that killed around 90 people.

"Turning off our customers' power is not something we take lightly, but PSPS events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees", the company said.

"This is not how we want to serve you but blackouts can happen again", Bill Johnson, the CEO of the company said Thursday.

The lights were back on Friday for numerous almost 2 million Northern California residents who lost electricity when the state's largest utility switched it off this week in an effort to prevent wildfires, as the first death linked to the outages was reported - a man who relied on oxygen.

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