Wildfires prompt Brown to declare state of emergency in California

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SAN FRANCISCO: Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for all of California in the wake of wildfires that killed one firefighter and drove hundreds of people from their homes. California’s record drought, now in its fourth year, has “turned much of the state into a tinderbox,” he said. The emergency declaration, which included the activation of the California National Guard, will speed up help for thousands of firefighters, Brown said Friday. About 9,000 firefighters were battling 24 large wildfires in California on Saturday, Ken Pimlott, the chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire said in an interview. “We’ve had 3,897 fires, compared to the five-year average of 2,552 fires so we are way ahead of the average,” Pimlott said. The state has called in additional resources from the National Guard and from outside California.

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