California Fire Updates: Sweeping Evacuations and Blackouts Ordered – The New York Times

About 90 to 95 percent of people in the mandatory evacuation zones are fleeing, said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. He said deputies would not force people out of their homes or arrest them if they refused to follow the order, but that “they will be on their own in the event of an emergency.”

Public safety officials pleaded with residents to comply, recalling a 2017 fire that wrought devastation in the area.

“I’m seeing people reporting that they’re going to stay and fight this fire,” Mark Essick, Sonoma County’s sheriff, said during a news conference Saturday night. “Fire is not something you can stay and fight.”

The blaze’s advance through the hilly rural areas of the county has made conditions difficult for the nearly 3,000 firefighters who are battling the blaze, the authorities said.

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