FIRE MAP: Mendocino Complex Fire as of Thursday morning

07 August, 2018, 14:48 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Rising winds forecast for Northern California wildfire zones

Twin wildfires fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather have continued to grow in Northern California.

As an army of firefighters battled 17 large wildfires burning across California, the focus on Saturday was a pair of blazes burning on either side of Clear Lake, about 100 miles north of San Francisco. Since the wildland fire is burning in a remote area about 15 miles east of the city of Covelo, the few residents living in the area affected have been ordered to evacuate. In all, they have destroyed hundreds of homes, killed eight people and shut down Yosemite National Park. A total of 450,000 acres have burned, majority being consumed by the Carr Fire and the Ranch and River Fires in Northern California.

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

The fires have burned nearly one-half million acres since June and destroyed more than 2,000 structures, it added.

Yosemite Valley residents must leave the valley by noon Friday, National Park Service officials said.

He says fire whirls are common, but not at the intensity recorded on July 26. Insurers paid out more than USD14 billion in insurance claims due to fire damage around the world, nearly entirely due to the October and December events in California. The U.S. Forest Service's tab just to fight the Ferguson Fire, which was first reported on July 13, has surpassed $73 million, according to a tweet by the federal agency in early August.

"The Mendocino Complex fire remains a dynamic and rapidly changing challenge for firefighters, with additional evacuation orders issued on Saturday and thousands of structures remaining threatened by the massive wildfire".

Winds in the "fire whirl" created July 26 near Redding reached speeds of 143 miles per hour (230 kph), a speed that rivaled some of the most destructive Midwest tornados, National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema said.

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The size of the fires surpasses a blaze last December in Southern California that burned 440.5 square miles (1,140.8 kilometers).

A new report says the first firefighter, a California bulldozer operator, almost slipped off a steep mountain trail three times before his vehicle finally rolled into a ravine and fatally crushed him.

Dykema said the whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from home.

In total, 14 states are now reporting large fires.

It has swelled to become larger than the deadly Carr Fire, about 100 miles (160 km) to the northeast, which has killed at least six people and destroyed more than 1,500 homes, businesses and other structures.

CBN News' Heather Sells is in California covering the wildfires.

"I can remember a couple of years ago when we saw 10 to 12,000 firefighters in the states of California, Oregon and Washington and never the 14,000 we see now", he said.

The report says his death highlights the need for better risk assessment, communication and supervision.

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