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California wildfire forces evacuations

A large wildfire caused mandatory evacuations in towns in southern California.
A large wildfire caused mandatory evacuations in towns in southern California.

During natural disasters, every moment is crucial. Cities and towns that are aware of their continuity of operations plan can get to safe areas sooner and allow emergency responders to do their jobs.

On Wednesday afternoon, around 2 p.m., a fire in Banning, California traveled across 16 square miles and caused evacuation orders in nearby communities, according to Fox News. One civilian was burned by the flames and was transported to the hospital by aircraft. Two firefighters experienced injuries and went to the hospital as well.

The fire was originally estimated to have burned 6,000 acres, but now experts are assessing that the flames traveled about 10,000-acres, according to the Desert Sun. The blaze was yet to be contained as of Thursday morning at 7 a.m. Individuals who live in Poppet Flats, Twin Pines, Edna Valley and Silent Valley were ordered to evacuate.

Evacuations over on Route 243 did not go as smoothly because both sides of the road were blocked off by the wildfire and people were stuck at an evacuation zone, the Huffington Post reported. 

"There was an area in there that got trapped in the middle," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson told the Post. "We're in there trying to assess how they are all doing now."

Many things can happen during these types of scenarios. Business continuity consultants can help establish a continuity of operations plan that includes arranging tabletop exercises to ensure all citizens know how to act during these times.