Residents flee, power cut as crews battle California fire

Residents flee, power cut as crews battle California fire


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PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) — Residents, animals, jail inmates and more than 100 hospital patients are among the nearly 200,000 people ordered from their Northern California homes.

They have fled amid fierce winds that prompted the state's largest utility to cut off power to more than 2.5 million people to try to stave off further wildfires sparked by its power lines.

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to flee in the middle of the night, sending a surge of people to the roads, clogging highways and filling shelters.

Many were victims of the deadly wildfires in October 2017 that killed 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Officials say they are lucky that this time they had more warning about the devastating winds.

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Associated Press writer Janie Har in San Francisco contributed to this story.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Don Thompson

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