USA

California Wildfires: Travis Air Force Base Remains Under Evacuation Order

Travis Air Force Base ordered the evacuation of all non-mission essential personnel and their families on Wednesday.

One of the US' busiest military bases remains under an evacuation order after hundreds of wildfires broke out across northern California.

Only essential mission military personnel remain at Travis Air Force Base after non-mission essential personnel and their families were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday. 

In a Facebook post on Friday, the base said: "Only mission essential personnel should return to work Aug. 21 at the direction of their respective chains of command.

"Base leadership and the emergency operations center team, in conjunction with local authorities, continue to actively monitor the threat and work to determine the safest time to allow Team Travis personnel to return to base."

More than 24 major fires have burned through the state after an unprecedented period of lightning saw nearly 11,000 strikes in 72 hours. 

At least five people have died since the fires broke out. 

The LNU Lightning Complex, the reason for the base's evacuation, is made up of several fires in five counties north of San Francisco, near to where Travis Air Force Base is located.

The fires have ripped through about 500 square miles of brushland, rural areas, canyon country and dense forest surrounding San Francisco.

More than 10,000 firefighters are on the frontlines, but fire officials in charge of each of the major fire complexes say they are strapped for resources.

Some firefighters were working 72-hour shifts instead of the usual 24 hours and the state has requested 375 engines and crew from other states.

Daniel Berlant, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) assistant deputy director, said the fires have destroyed 175 structures, including homes, and are threatening 50,000 more.

Cover image: Travis Air Force Base firefighters aiding local departments to help fight the LNU Lightning Complex fire (Picture: Travis Air Force Base/Facebook).