California wildfires force evacuations as fierce winds fuel the blazes

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Wildfires are erupting across California, fueled by dry air, fierce winds and high temperatures.

Over 190,000 California customers are in the dark Thursday as power companies preemptively cut electricity in an attempt to keep fires from starting.

The Kincade wildfire began in Sonoma County in Northern California's wine country Wednesday night.

As winds reached up to 76 mph, the blaze exploded to a massive 10,000 acres overnight.

The Kincade fire is 0 percent contained and the cause is under investigation.

Cal Fire spokesperson Amy Head said the fire is wind driven and it's hard for crews to keep up.

"We just can’t keep ahead of it ... we are almost chasing it and trying to catch up with it," she said Thursday morning.

The community of Geyserville is under mandatory orders to evacuate immediately, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office warned Thursday.

In Southern California, winds are expected to be even stronger due to the higher mountain range, creating Santa Ana winds.

In San Bernardino County, which is inland from Los Angeles, the Old Water fire is threatening homes as winds gust up to 50 mph.

The blaze has consumed 75 acres and is 0% contained.

The Old Water fire has closed schools and forced residents of about 80 homes to evacuate.

A heat advisory is also in effect in Southern California with temperatures expected to reach the 90s from San Diego to Los Angeles. Dry air, high temperatures and winds all contribute to the spread of wildfires.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged recruiter, pleads not guilty

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBY: JAMES HILL AND AARON KATERSKY, ABC NEWS (NEW YORK) — Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and longtime companion of the infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges i...