In the coming days, California will be in a dangerous state of emergency, according to the National Weather Service, after a wildfire in the state’s interior forced evacuations, destroyed more than half of the state and destroyed more land than was previously estimated.
More than 8,400 homes have been damaged, and the fire has forced some 1,000 people from their homes.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
On Tuesday, the National Guard was called to help with a mandatory evacuation of some 1.3 million people, a massive shift of resources away from the fire’s natural spread.
The state’s Department of Forestry is assisting with a coordinated response, the agency said in a statement.
As of Monday afternoon, the fire had burned more than 1.6 million acres, according the fire agency.
The fire is not expected to be contained, and it is threatening hundreds of thousands of acres of forest.
In addition to the mandatory evacuations and mandatory evacuation orders, the fires are also expected to affect other communities and counties in California, including the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Santa Barbara and Orange Counties, the Sacramento Valley and the San Joaquin Valley.
The wildfire threatens the health of communities along the California coast and the state capital, Sacramento, and is threatening the economic well-being of the region.
The blaze started near the intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 13 near the town of Monterey in the Sonoma National Forest on Saturday, officials said.
The flames quickly spread, igniting brush and vegetation that was soon engulfed in flames, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
Authorities said the fire was sparked by a brush fire near the highway, and a helicopter crew reported seeing flames at the same spot.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office initially said eight people were killed, but that number has since been revised to 14.
Officials said the blaze could grow to 200 acres and cause significant damage.
A number of people are reported missing in the area, including three people from the California State University system.
Some 300 firefighters were called to the fire on Saturday.
The National Weather Services said in its emergency declaration that “fire conditions have intensified in the fire area, and conditions are expected to continue to develop for several days.”
The fire, which has been burning for more than a week, has burned more land in the past 24 hours than it has in the entire month of December.
“It’s just a matter of time before it reaches a tipping point,” said David Bower, a meteorologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The Santa Rosa fire was also sparked by brush fires, but it is not believed to have been sparked by the brush fire, officials told the San Jose Mercury News.
Officials with the Sonomac National Forest said they were still trying to determine the cause of what they described as a “firestorm” that started in the Santa Rosa Mountains, then spread to the Sonomas and other areas along the coastline.
The wildfires started late Saturday, and officials were still waiting to get the fire under control.
The fires have caused millions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses and other property.
California’s fire department said it had evacuated more than 2,000 properties in the region, and that it was working with the state Department of Water Resources and other agencies to provide more assistance to residents affected by the fires.
Firefighters and volunteers from around the state were also working to help those affected by fire.
“There is a huge effort underway, and we are taking it seriously,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Steve Loomis.
“We are working to restore as much as possible to the region’s forests, so that the fire doesn’t spread to any other areas.
The agencies will be closely monitoring the fires progress, so we are prepared if the situation changes.”
The wildfires in Southern California, which began in May, have destroyed more properties than any other fire in the nation.
The Northern California fires were started in February and have destroyed at least 1,400 structures and more than $10 million worth of property.
Officials say they will work to contain the fires while they burn out.