• Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

Six killed in California wildfires as thousands are forced to flee

An aircraft drops fire retardant on a ridge during the Walbridge fire in California on August 20, 2020. Image copyright AFP via Getty Images
Image caption A series of massive fires in northern and central California forced more evacuations

Six people have died in wildfires that are sweeping across California and fouling the air with heavy smoke across much of the western US.

The worst of the hundreds of fires burning across the state are in the mountains to the south and east of San Francisco.

The fires are thought to have been started by lightning strikes amidst an historic heat wave.

More than 100 buildings have burned down and 50,000 more are threatened.

Over 10,000 fire-fighters are battling the blazes, which have been burning on steep, difficult to access terrain and have been fueled by strong winds.

With more than 650,000 coronavirus cases, California also has the highest number of infections the US, and some evacuees have said they are afraid to go to emergency shelters.

Here are some key guidelines for protecting yourself against Covid-19 if you must evacuate to a shelter:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Keep six feet of distance from anyone not among your household
  • Wear a face covering when possible, and if possible, wash it regularly
  • Avoid sharing food and drinks
  • Frequently disinfect your area in the shelter (including toys and electronics)

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Media caption‘I’m sorry to tell you that your house is gone’