LOS ANGELES — As 16 wildfires continued to incinerate thousands of acres of land in California, destroying businesses and homes, Archbishop José Gomez has called for prayers for the victims of the fires.

“We are facing a new outbreak of fires in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita regions,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement on Oct. 25.

“Please pray with me for the families at risk and also for the firefighters and other first responders. May God keep them all safe and bring these fires to an end! May Our Blessed Mother Mary be close to all of them,” he said.

The Getty and Tick fires, located in the area of the archdiocese, have burned thousands of acres. The fires have caused mass evacuations and the closings of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; 20 elementary schools and two high schools in the archdiocese were closed due to the fires. By Oct. 28, eight of the schools remained closed due to the Getty and Tick Fires.

The archdiocese said in a statement Oct. 24: “Our prayers are with all those who are impacted or harmed by the fires, especially families who are evacuated and for the firefighters, police and others working to keep people safe.”

Other California wildfires include the Kincade Fire, which continues to burn strongly. Evacuations continue.