Another wildfire has erupted near Los Angeles, forcing thousands to evacuate and more power blackouts.
Mandatory evacuations for about 8,000 people in the Los Angeles area are in place after a wildfire began late Thursday before quickly spreading overnight. The Maria Fire is the latest addition to California’s busy 2019 fire season.
In a press conference at noon local time, officials said the fire had grown to burn nearly 9,000 acres. The fire started on Thursday at 6:14 p.m. local time affecting 750 acres within an hour. However, it spread overnight to encompass more than 8,000 acres.
The continuing combination of wildfires and blackouts has Californians furious at both politicians and the power companies. There are now reports that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) workers are being threatened and run off the road by frustrated customers.
PG&E officials have described numerous incidents of workers being targeted. Last week, CEO Bill Johnson told reporters a PG&E worker’s car was apparently shot at with a pellet gun in Glenn County. He and Andy Vesey, president of the utility, have been pleading with customers to stop harassing company employees.
“I know the anger’s there but please, please don’t take it out on the people in the field,” Vesey said Monday.
PG&E workers have been inspecting power lines to ensure they are still safe to operate despite the high winds and to turn power back on in communities where power was cut.
And while Governor Gavin Newsom tries to redirect the blame to the power companies and their executives, Newsom and the Democratic Party’s green policies are cited by many to be a significant contributing factor to this disastrous situation.
Matt Shupe, a Republican political consultant in California, argued that while the governor has done what he can to combat the wildfires, including declaring a state of emergency tapping into state and federal funds, the risk of wildfires could have been decreased if Newsom and state Democrats had taken a different approach with environmental policies.
In their natural state, forests are regularly thinned by fire but the billions of dollars that the state spends fighting wildfires and restrictions on logging have allowed forests to accumulate an overload of vegetation and dead trees.
“Newsom prides himself on being the most environmentally friendly politician,” Shupe told Fox News. “But there needs to be a more pragmatic approach than just leaving these trees to turn into tinder.”
Newsom is now trying to appease those unhappy with his governorship by designating one of his top aides as his “energy czar” to oversee the state’s utilities.
Ana Matosantos will continue to serve as Newsom’s cabinet secretary while also working as the state’s energy czar, where she will be charged with helping fix the state’s utility problems.
During the news conference, Newsom initially indicated Matosantos would step down as cabinet secretary, essentially Newsom’s second highest ranking aide, to take the position, but his office later said he misspoke.
“We cannot afford the kind of public safety power shutoffs we’ve experienced over the last week,” Newsom said at an afternoon news conference.
However, many Californians can see through the virtue signalling and are making plans to leave the state. Business leaders in the state’s iconic Silcon Valley are weighing their options . . . including relocation.
BEFORE CANDLES, SOCIALISTS USED ELECTRICITY. OR IN OTHER WORDS, CALIFORNIA IS SUFFERING FROM A HELPING OF HEINLEIN’S “BAD LUCK”: Victor Davis Hanson: Democrats have turned California into a problem-plagued burning nightmare.