Wildfires ravaged and menaced communities from Napa’s wine country to the coast above Santa Cruz on Friday, forcing California officials to make tough choices on which ones to fight as the state braced for a weekend that could include more lightning strikes.
In some places, officials said they were being turned down for state help and left to beg equipment and manpower from volunteers and local agencies.
“Many of these firefighters have been on the lines for 72 hours, and everybody is running on fumes,” said Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), whose district includes wine country areas currently under siege. “Our first responders are working to the ragged edge of everything they have.”
More than 930,000 acres have burned so far in Northern and Central California — an area larger than the land mass of Rhode Island — with little containment, in part because firefighting resources are stretched beyond capacity by the number of blazes.
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