Governor Newsom Addresses Heat Wave, Wildfires, and COVID-19

By edhat staff

Governor Gavin Newsom addressed a series of emergencies throughout California during a press conference on Wednesday including wildfires, a heatwave, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extreme heat has caused rolling blackouts in California as extra stress is placed on the power grid. A Flex Alert was issued from 2:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. Wednesday evening urging residents to conserve energy to avoid blackouts. Temperatures are expected to cool considerably by the weekend.

The governor signed an “emergency proclamation to free up energy capacity” allowing energy users and utilities to use backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times. Large energy users are also shifting to back-up power during peak hours and utility companies are using power they stored from the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

“Even with all of that, we are likely to fall short,” Newsom said. “I am not pleased with what’s happened. I take a backseat to no one.”

California Wildfires

California is also battling 367 wildfires and 23 major wildfire complexes as of Wednesday. The governor said the state experienced 10,849 lightning strikes in the last 72 hours and world record heat temperatures.

Some of the active fires along the Central Coast span from Monterey County to Los Angeles County. Thankfully all wildfires caused by the recent lightning strikes in Santa Barbara County were successfully extinguished.

The Lake Fire which broke out a week ago near Lake Hughes in the Angeles National Forest, between Palmdale and Santa Clarita. It has covered 25,498 acres and was 38% contained, destroyed at least 12 structures and 21 outbuildings, and also damaged three others. 4,570 buildings remain threatened and about 100 homes remain under mandatory evacuation orders as of Wednesday.

The Holser Fire sparked on Monday in the area of Holser Canyon in the community of Piru. The fire is estimated at 3,000 acres and is 45% contained. Firefighters have been consistently taking advantage of higher relative humidity to perform firing operations to secure the edge of the fire while taking advantage of natural barriers. Two firefighter injuries have been reported and all evacuation warnings have been lifted.

The River Fire, burning south of Salinas, has grown to 10,672 acres Wednesday morning and was 7% contained. More than 5,000 people have been evacuated, 6 homes have been destroyed and an estimated 1,527 structures are threatened. Four firefighters suffered heat-related injuries while fighting the fire, reported Cal Fire. Full containment is expected by August 30.

COVID-19 Status

As of Wednesday California had more than 640,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 11,000 deaths related to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. Newsom reported a statewide 6.6% positivity rate, 17% decrease in hospitalizations, and a 13% decrease in ICU admissions in last 14 days.

There are 40 counties on the monitoring list with Placer and San Diego counties recently removed. Newsom added that San Francisco will likely come off the list on Thursday.

During Tuesday’s Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting, local Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated she hopes Santa Barbara County will soon join the ranks of being removed from the monitoring list as the county’s numbers decline.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. With respect to Gov. Newsom addressing wildfires, I cannot find any mention of the Ranch 2 fire (Azusa, CA) or it’s suspected cause in any articles published about his Wednesday address. Did he discuss the origin of this fire? This fire has been burning for a week and is 19% contained at 4,300 acres burned. The cause of this fire is given on InciWeb (, and at least one person is in custody.

  2. Translation of subtext: Lightening strikes are mentioned as the cause of wildfires a couple of times, with respect to statewide fires as well as those in Santa Barbara County. However, the truth is many of the recent, local fires were caused by the homeless. Same with the Ranch 2 fire. It’s a curious omission.

  3. @Chem, no this article is about the wildfires in the past 72 hours. All of those that took place in SB county were due to lightning strikes. Fires started near homeless camps are a different thread/article and different problem. It would be odd for the Governor to randomly throw that in when it’s not an immediate threat like the heatwave, lightning fires, and COVID.

  4. @ 5:13 PM: “@Chem, no this article is about the wildfires in the past 72 hours. ” Oh, I see. I guess following sentence in the article confused me, “The Lake Fire which broke out a week ago near Lake Hughes in the Angeles National Forest…”

  5. Keep mind that Gov. Newsome is going to be “cemented” in with the incoming administration. This happily means we are probably going to have mandatory renewable energy, increased wages, cleaner air/beaches/water, less cops/more security, …basically, things are going to only get better.

  6. Brookings institute findings: School districts in states with stronger teachers unions are also significantly less likely to reopen in-person this fall
    73% of school districts in Florida are planning to reopen in-person
    Only 4% are planning to do so in California, a state with much stronger teachers unions.

  7. FL is a crazy state, and you’ll get no argument from me there. I assume you’d agree that Newson shut down CA to a greater extent than was done in FL, right? Let’s look at those numbers you reference. Positive cases in CA are higher by 109.4% compared to FL. Deaths in CA are higher by 114.5% compared to FL. What conclusions to you draw from that comparison? As far as my point on school choice, the LAUSD union has made recent attempts to kneecap charter schools, private schools and school choice in general during negotiations about resuming in person teaching. It’s fine if they don’t want to go back to work, but they’re taking this opportunity to crush their competitions. I think people who have children are taking notice, regardless of their political affiliation. Whether this will cause them to reassess their priorities when voting this November is the question I posed. A lot of things that affect the way we live our lives are now being closely looked at, from theaters vs. VOD to brick-and-mortar vs. online order/delivery. COVID may now speed up the time table in making choices that could put the way we used to live well in the rear view mirror, including the way we school our children.

  8. You can also have cheaper health care by defunding County Fire and AMR and just having someone in a minivan show up at your house… And ask the residents who are facing rolling blackouts due to renewable energy not being sufficient

  9. What if a few select communities opted to pay a collective fee to keep armed police, while other communities could opt to have unarmed community ushers? I know which one I’d move to. How about you? I think that’s what it’s going to come down to. Then you’ll really end up with a serious imbalance in quality of life, the type of inequity that many like to complain about, but this time it will be your own choice and there’s no way you can put the blame on others.

  10. After a decade and a half of promoting unlimited population growth in California, Newsom can’t understand why we don’t have enough electricity. Maybe forgetting to grow the infra structure while growing the population had something to do with it.
    Santa Barbara City Council, are you listening and learning anything?

  11. The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. We are in our U turn around the Sun, closest and warmest part of our natural 26,000 year elliptical orbit. Global cooling will occur as we head away . All natural, from your link.

  12. Claiming it’s “all natural” and “climate has always changed” shows that the NASA/NOAA climate information presented in the link was neither read, nor comprehended, but that’s the stock in trade of deniers. Facts don’t matter to them, only their fantasy-based opinion.

  13. Wow. Talk about pontificating on a subject you obviously know nothing about!
    “We are in our U turn around the Sun, closest and warmest part of our natural 26,000 year elliptical orbit. Global cooling will occur as we head away .” The Earth’s orbit around the Sun takes one year. The precession of the Earth’s axis, like a wobbly top, takes approximately 26,000 years. Neither has enough effect on insolation to cause the rapid, and rapidly accelerating accumulation of heat energy in our atmosphere. That is caused by the greenhouse effect and the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gasses. Likewise, Milankovitch cycles in our orbit, which is probably where your confusion arises, do not account for our current situation.
    It’s most likely hopeless, since you’re firmly ensconced in your erroneous conclusion, but here’s some explanation:

  14. Florida has had 47 deaths per hundred thousand residents, while California has had 30. In the past seven days, Florida has had 154 cases per 100,000 vs 131 per 100,000 in California. You have to look at the per capita numbers for the stats to mean anything. California has way more people (roughly 39 million vs Florida’s 21 million).

Small Brush Fire Near Alta Mesa

One COVID-19 Death and 27 New Cases