Nearly two dozen massive wildfires continued to ravage parts of California on Saturday (August 22), fueled by high temperatures and ongoing lightning strikes, including 100 that hit on Friday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) said.
The fires have killed several people and incinerated nearly 700 buildings since beginning after an earlier lightning storm last week. Together, the blazes have burned nearly a million acres, the agency said Saturday (August 22).
Wildfire is threatening parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, the forested region near the University of California at Santa Cruz and a wide swath of the area between San Francisco and the state capital of Sacramento.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump declared the fires to be a major disaster, the White House said. The declaration, which allows federal funds to be used to help people and businesses harmed by the fires in seven counties to pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other needs, came despite a threat from Trump earlier this week to withhold aid from California.
Nearly 14,000 firefighters have been deployed to the blazes, but containment of the largest ones remains low and the state has requested additional support from other states and local jurisdictions in California, CalFire said Saturday.