Homes threatened as new wildfires erupt in Northern California

Thursday, 02 Aug, 2018

The toll of devastation from one of the most brutal fires in California history rose Wednesday to more than 1,000 homes destroyed and nearly 200 damaged as a sprawling wildfire ignited by a spark from a towed vehicle grew to 180 square miles.

Almost 1,000 dwellings and more than 400 other buildings were reduced to ruins in what state officials now rank as the seventh-most destructive wildfire in California history.

Four people were listed as missing in the fire zone after 16 people considered missing turned up safe, a Redding police official said. The fires have become the seventh-most destructive in state history.

Twin wildfires tearing through vineyards and brushy hills threatened some 10,000 homes in Northern California Tuesday - yet another front in the seemingly endless summer of wildfires that have ravaged some of the most scenic areas of the state.

Paulich says residents have been heeding evacuation orders because they have seen the destruction caused by past fires.

Carr Fire, which was ignited by a vehicle on July 23, has scorched more than 180 square miles and displaced tens of thousands of people.

Temperatures will soar into the lower 100s in many places, Norman said, and whipping winds will be "wildly fluctuating as the fires generate their own localized wind".

"We've started off with a bang, " Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said.

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The Associated Press writes, "The Lake County seat of Lakeport remained under evacuation orders and was a virtual ghost town, although people were allowed back home in several smaller communities as firefighters shored up containment lines".

Two people have been killed in the fire, but no homes have been damaged or destroyed, fire officials said.

Gaston said her brother had wanted to stay in his own home, but he had spotty cell service and, with the power out, he might not have gotten word of the fire. The state spent a record $758 million past year.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Saturday evening for the fires.

Large areas of Lake County remain evacuated, as do sections of Mendo near Potter Valley, and between Potter and the Lake County line. Despite progress, the fires were only 12 percent contained.

"We're turning the corner", he said, adding that he hates "saying those things (because) this thing has made me a liar so many times". Park officials had hoped to reopen Friday.

It was the longest closure at Yosemite since 1997 when floods closed the park for more than two months.