Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has called off his scheduled Thursday appearance at the Democratic National Convention as fires continue to rage in parts of California, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“The segment that was originally planned didn’t make sense given the growth and severity of the state’s devastating wildfires,” said a spokesperson for Newsom. “We’re evaluating options while the Governor prioritizes the emergency response.”
Newsom’s remarks were tapped and were aimed to be an “engaged conversation with another well-known elected official,” though it is unclear who that individual is.
“I’m honored and certainly humbled by the privilege of having that time and that moment to engage with someone I have tremendous respect for,” Newsom stated Monday.
More than two dozen major fires were scorching California on Thursday and taxing the state’s firefighting capacity, sparked by an unprecedented lightning siege that dropped nearly 11,000 strikes over several days.
The fires have destroyed 175 structures, including homes, and are threatening 50,000 more, said Daniel Berlant, an assistant deputy director with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In all, 33 civilians and firefighters have been injured.
Most of the activity is in Northern California, where fires have chewed through nearly 500 square miles (1,250 square kilometers) of brushland, rural areas, canyon country and dense forest surrounding San Francisco.
More than 10,000 California firefighters are on the front lines, 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. The state has requested 375 engines and crew from other states.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.