California fire burns its way into history

Rising winds forecast for Northern California wildfire zones

Rising winds forecast for Northern California wildfire zones

The blaze in Mendocino County, about 90 miles (145 km) North of San Francisco, had spread to cover a total of 201,471 acres (81,500 hectares) by early Saturday, after increasing more than 25% in size from Friday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

A fast-growing California wildfire that has already forced thousands to flee their homes and shut down a large national park surged overnight into Saturday, as tired firefighters battled gusting winds.

The Mendocino is one of 17 major wildfires burning across California that prompted US President Donald Trump to declare a "major disaster" in the state, ordering federal funding to be made available to help recovery efforts.

Brown, who inspected neighborhoods wiped out by a wildfire in the Northern California city of Redding, said he was confident the president he has clashed with over immigration and pollution policies would send aid, which Trump did past year when California's wine country was hit hard. The weather conditions were reportedly fueling the flames with wind and high temperatures against the dry brush. Jerry Brown to issue a state of emergency in Lake, Mendocino, and Napa counties.

"This is a particularly unsafe situation with extremely low humidity and high winds".

The Carr Fire was 39 percent contained after killing six people and incinerating 1,067 homes.

Through last week, California fires had torched about 117,359 hectares, more than double the five-year average over that same period, according to Cal Fire. Thousands of people remain evacuated.

Crews battling deadly Northern California wildfires braced for a weekend of windy, hot weather that could drive the flames into new areas and threaten more homes.

The fire remained several miles from the evacuated communities along the eastern shore of Clear Lake but "it looks like there's dicey weather on the way", California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Jane LaBoa said. Some areas on the fire's southeastern flank were reopened to residents.

PG&E Corporation confirmed yesterday that 21-year-old apprentice lineman, Jay Ayeta, died when his vehicle crashed in western Shasta County as he worked with crews in unsafe terrain to battle the almost two-week-old Carr Fire.

The blaze burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl". The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

A team of 188 specialist Australian and New Zealand firefighters are also on the ground in California to help battle the blazes.

"It's not good firefighting weather", Anderson said.

In total, 14 states are now reporting large fires.

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