California Gov. Newsom says 367 wildfires, 23 of them major, continue to burn in statewide emergency

By Michael Ruiz | Fox News

23 major fires were raging, with hundreds of smaller ones around the state

Hundreds of wildfires were raging across California Wednesday, with almost two dozen considered major or complex, Gov. Gavin Newsom said as the state faces evacuations and scorching conditions.

A historic heat wave and sustained winds have complicated firefighters’ efforts, according to the governor’s office. The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings across the Central Valley, northeastern California and northwestern Nevada, indicating a high fire danger until at least Thursday evening. Large parts of the state also are under excessive heat warnings.

The fight against the wildfires turned deadly when a water-dropping helicopter crashed in western Fresno County Wednesday morning, according to state fire officials.

The pilot of the Bell UH-1H died in the crash about 9 miles south of Coalinga while battling the Hills Fire, authorities said. There was  one person aboard.

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