Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Crews battling deadly California wildfire slowed by returning winds

Fred Greaves  Reuters
“We’re advised that the fire was threatening structures,” Mendocino County Undersheriff Matthew Kendall said Fred Greaves Reuters “We’re advised that the fire was threatening structures,” Mendocino County Undersheriff Matthew Kendall said
Jay Anderson | 03 August, 2018, 17:21

Twin fires in Mendocino and Lake Counties, 120 miles north of San Francisco, had burned through 140 square miles and destroyed 10 homes.

Numerous fire personnel were being sent from out of state.

Tuesday it was 104 degrees in Covelo when the fire was reported, coupled with extremely low, eight percent humidity, "which is absolutely explosive (for) fire growth", Gonzalez said.

Fire officials lifted some evacuation orders Wednesday.

CalFire director Ken Pimlott said more than 32,000 remained displaced by various fires up and down the state.

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On Thursday, a special contingent of 100 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand took off from Sydney en route to U.S. assignments reinforcing exhausted fire crews in northern California, Oregon and Washington state.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Carr Fire has burned more than 125,000 acres and is 35 percent contained.




More than 13,000 firefighters are being aided by crews from as far away as Florida, but Brown repeated predictions from fire officials that California can expect a future of devastating fires, in part because of the changing climate. "Throughout the day crews will continue to mitigate spot fire potential across control lines", it said.

Tired firefighters in Northern California were outflanking a deadly, 10-day-old blaze on Wednesday that has destroyed over 1,000 homes as authorities reopened more evacuated neighbourhoods and the last few people listed as missing were found alive.

"Last night, firefighters made good progress on increasing containment on the River and Ranch fires", said Ron Myers, a deputy incident commander with Cal Fire.

"Nature is very powerful and we are not on the side of nature", Brown said.

More than 1,000 families have lost their homes, their prized possessions.

"We're being surprised. Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons", Governor Jerry Brown told reporters.

A 160-square-kilometre fire near Yosemite National Park prompted evacuation orders Wednesday for the community of Wawona inside the park, which has fewer than 200 residents.

Rising temperatures cause an earlier melting of accumulated snowpack, Diffenbaugh said; those conditions mean that when the fire season approaches temperatures are now higher than usual and the ground is often dryer than usual.

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