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Wildfire Threatens San Francisco Power Grid

  • VOA News

Firefighters battle a blaze at Yosemite National Park, California, August 24, 2013.

Firefighters battle a blaze at Yosemite National Park, California, August 24, 2013.

A massive wildfire in northern California has swallowed up the western edge of Yosemite National Park and is threatening the city of San Francisco's water and power supplies.

More than 2,600 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is burning across about 52,000 hectares and threatens 5,500 homes. Some towns have issued voluntary evacuations.

The governor of California called a state of emergency Friday for the city of San Francisco, which is about 240 kilometers away from the raging inferno. Two hydroelectric plants in the area were shut down due to the fire.

Dozens of fires are burning across several western U.S. states. The fires sprawl from the southern state of Arizona to the northern state of Washington, and even up to Alaska.

The U.S. Forest Service says 31,986 wildfires have burned 1.4 million hectares in the United States this year. At this time last year, fires had burned 2.4 million hectares.
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