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California governor declares emergency due to fires, heat wave

Posted at 4:14 PM, Aug 18, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared an emergency Tuesday over wildfires burning throughout California as the state's power grid operator pleaded for continued conservation to avoid rolling blackouts.

The grid operator praised residents and businesses for astonishing conservation efforts that kept the power on Monday night.

The state is in a days-long heatwave that has stressed the electrical system and resulted in rolling blackouts over two nights last weekend.

Outages, excessive heat, wildfire, and the pandemic have people on edge.

Evacuations were in effect or growing in several Northern California communities because of growing fires.

Newsom demanded an investigation into two smaller weekend blackouts.

The emergency proclamation gives authority to the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance to local governments and frees up other resources if needed, such as the California National Guard.

“We are deploying every resource available to keep communities safe as California battles fires across the state during these extreme conditions,” said Governor Newsom. “California and its federal and local partners are working in lockstep to meet the challenge and remain vigilant in the face of continued dangerous weather conditions.”