Brown asks Trump for wildfire aid as state battles 17 blazes

by Garry Watts August 5, 2018, 4:29
Brown asks Trump for wildfire aid as state battles 17 blazes

Aon's Impact Forecasting explained, "The July 2018 fires in California follow what was the costliest year ever recorded for the insurance industry with the wildfire peril in 2017". Workers who live in Yosemite's popular Valley region were ordered to leave Friday because of inaccessible roads.

The Carr wildfire, near Redding, California, has been burning for some days now and has expanded to cover an area of nearly 127,000 acres, with the burn still only 37% contained.

The weather service issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions into Saturday, saying a series of dry low-pressure systems passing through the region would bring afternoon wind gusts. So far, it is 27 percent contained.

More immediately, the declaration will enable federal agencies to help battle the 17 major fires burning throughout the state.

The combined fires have prompted about 15,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Firefighters were extremely busy Tuesday in that wildland-urban interface as the fire raced through the populated areas.

They included a bulldozer operator whose vehicle almost slipped off a mountain trail three times before it rolled into a ravine and crushed him at the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park, a Cal Fire report said.

CalFire said the Mendocino Complex's two fires, which started within an hour of each other last Friday, have destroyed 41 homes and 47 other structures and are threatening 9,200 buildings.

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Firefighters from 16 states have rushed to California, and authorities are reinforcing 3,232 personnel on the Mendocino Complex Fire, which is made up of two blazes.

"I know there is going to be a firefight up on that hill and we're prepared for when it comes down", said Daren Dalrymple, CA Incident Management. It was 34 percent contained.

According to the numbers CAL FIRE released Wednesday morning, the two fires have burned 90,912 acres; 59,019 on the Ranch Fire, and 31,898 on the River Fire.

The "firenado" also left behind damage that looked more like the work of a tornado than a wildfire-tiles stripped from roofs, trees uprooted, cars moved, a transmission tower tipped over.

A firefighter tries to control a back burn as the Carr fire continues to spread towards the towns of Douglas City and Lewiston near Redding, California on July 31, 2018. It is the 6th most destructive fire in California's history and has killed six people, destroyed 1,073 homes, and 506 other structures, and damaged 258 structures in total. Varney's radio wasn't communicating with headquarters, so his assistant relayed messages - until they lost contact.

It burned so furiously on July 26 that it created a "fire whirl".

Varney was a 10-year veteran.

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