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State of Emergency Declared for SF due to RIM FIRE

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

Rim Fire an “imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets”; Gov declares State of Emergency for SF

The ferocious wildfire that began on August 17 and has been burning out of control in Tuolumne County forced California Gov. Brown to declare a state of emergency 190 miles away in San Francisco late Friday.

The governor said he declared the emergency due to the damage  caused to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco.

Rim Fire had consumed about 126,000 acres (470 km²), as of Saturday, 24 August 2013 @ 05:00UTC, and the blaze continued to grow explosively, as it crossed into Yosemite National Park, burning at least 11,000 acres there.

San Francisco was forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area due to the fire, according to local reports.

The City gets about 85 percent of its water from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Yosemite area, just 3 miles from the current fire boundary.

Highlights of the Governor’s Proclamation

The wildfires that started in Tuolumne County have caused damage to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, and now threaten damage to property, equipment, and resources of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, said  Calif. Governor Brown in his state of emergency proclamation for the City and County of San Francisco.

As a result, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down transmission lines with the result that the City and County is affected by the wildfires in the County of Tuolumne and is likely to be further affected should the fire cause additional damage to the City and County of San Francisco’s water and electrical assets in Tuolumne County, including the possible temporary interruption of electricity and/or water delivery.

Due to the imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission declared an emergency, and the City and County of San Francisco declared a local emergency and requested that I proclaim a state of emergency …, said Gov Brown as he signed the Proclamation, declaring a state of emergency in the City and County of San Francisco.

rim fire 061s
Rim Fire Photo 6. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

The massive fire has so far destroyed at least four homes and a dozen outbuildings in different areas, and was threatening more than 5,500 residences, said the USFS.

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