Mike Norris Co-Editor The American Dossier California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as wildfires fueled by historic winds rage across the state. The Kincade Fire started Wednesday in Sonoma County forcing the evacuation of more than 90000 people. The Sonoma County Sheriffs Office called the evacuations the biggest in the county in more than a quarter-century. We need our community members to take these warnings seriously ... its time to drop things pack and go" said Healdsburg Mayor David Hagele. At a news conference Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli called the approaching wildfires a life-threatening situation and a danger to our entire town." Fueled by strong dry Santa Ana winds the Kincade Fire is responsible for the destruction of approximately 25455 acres according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Thus far the Kincade Fire has destroyed 49 structures including 21 homes. As of Saturday morning 23000 structures were still at risk. To the south the Tick Fire which broke out around Santa Clarita near Los Angeles was also driven by Santa Ana winds. At approximately 2:30 a.m. Friday flames jumped across State Route 14 requiring it to be closed in both directions between Golden Valley and Escondido Canyon. Public schools in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys were also closed on Friday. At the height of the Tick Fire approximately 50000 people were evacuated from the area. An unknown number remained out of their homes Saturday. This is the largest evacuation that weve had in Santa Clarita Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. If you think youre in an area that may be evacuated get ready and do it now. The Tick Fire consumed more than 4600 acres and left 18 structures destroyed and 16 damaged. As of Saturday the blaze is 55 contained according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials. Authorities announced that human remains were found within the burned area. Initial reports state that the death does not appear to be related to the fire. The Tick Fire was just one of multiple blazes that raged across Southern California this week. A few miles to the west a fire broke out and began spreading in the Castaic area damaging homes and threatening dozens more. Fires were also reported in Eagle Rock Anaheim San Bernardino and the Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley among other locations. To lower the risk of triggering fires in dry areas Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E") has enacted a controversial policy of shutting down power when strong winds are forecast. The National Weather Service warned that winds up to 85 mph coupled with low humidity could produce historic" weather conditions. The winds are the strongest California has experienced since the 2017 Wine Country fires and are potentially historic in strength and duration according to the Weather Service. On Saturday PG&E stated that it planned to shut off power to approximately 940000 homes and businesses in 36 counties for 48 hours or longer to prevent starting additional fires. The blackout could affect as many as 2.7 million people and would be the largest power shut-off to prevent wildfires in California history. PG&E said it would not restore power until inspections of de-energized lines are completed and any damage to the system from the high winds is repaired. Despite PG&Es preventative measures a downed power line may be to blame for the Kincade Fire. In a filing with state regulators the utility reported that it registered an outage at a tower at 9:20 p.m. on Wednesday only seven minutes before the fire erupted. At a news conference PG&E CEO Bill Johnson announced that there was a broken jumper on one of our transmission towers near the origin of the fire but that state investigators have yet to determine if it caused the blaze. It is the second consecutive year that a PG&E transmission tower is suspected as the source of a major wildfire. The utility said its equipment was most likely responsible for last years Camp Fire which destroyed the town of Paradise. A broken 100-year-old transmission tower that PG&E admitted was 25 years past its useful life" was identified as the source of the Camp Fire. The transmission tower under scrutiny in the Kincade Fire was 43-years-old and had recently been inspected Mr. Johnson stated. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo urged residents to be prepared for the shutoffs and asked them not to drive if they dont need to during the shutoff. However he said these outages cant be the new normal. We need to find better solutions he said. After serving as an Airborne Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division Mike attended Florida State University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and George Washington University where he received his Masters in Political Management. Mike is currently attending the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where he is pursuing his Juris Doctorate. Since 2004 Mike has worked in the Florida Senate where he was one of only two Chiefs of Staff under 30 and in the Michigan Senate where he served as the Legislative Aide to the Assistant Minority Floor Leader. The 2018 election cycle was Mikes eighth as a Political Consultant. Mike previously served as the Secretary and Vice President of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans Regional Vice Chair for the Florida Federated Young Republicans and attended the 2012 Republican National Convention as an Alternate Delegate. He currently lives in Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan with his rescue Pit Bull Ike. http://www.whitefalconconsult.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/norrismichaelj/
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