Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Deadly Northern California fire destroys more than 1K homes

Deadly Northern California fire destroys more than 1K homes

The toll of devastation from one of the most brutal fires in California history rose to nearly 1,000 homes destroyed and about 200 more damaged as a sprawling wildfire ignited by a spark from a towed vehicle grew to more than 175 square miles.

The colossal blaze - the most formidable of 94 wildfires burning across 13 western states - is now ranked as the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.

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A new fire, being called the Eel Fire, is causing need for mandatory evacuations in Mendocino County as of Tuesday. The new fires erupted without warning and spread with shocking speed through forest and brush that have literally become tinder, said Scott McLean of CalFire.

"The weather has really been working with us", said Jude Olivas, a spokesman for the interagency firefighting team.

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".

Six homes have been destroyed and 10,200 structures are being threatened by the flames. Thousands more remain evacuated because of the blaze ignited July 23 by a spark from a steel wheel rim on a trailer towed with a flat tire. The state spent a record $758 million a year ago. It's growing more product to catch on fire.

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He urged people to stay vigilant because fires can easily jump over containment lines.

A relative identified one of the victims as Daniel Bush, 62.

Near Yosemite, the Ferguson Fire had burned 90 square miles and was 33 percent contained. Redding Police on Tuesday asked for help from the public locating four people who are still missing.

"You see out there what the firefighters have done to get themselves in front of your homes", Myers said. Hundreds were evacuated from the Cranston Fire in Riverside County east of Los Angeles last week.

"We're concerned with individuals that have no family", Bosenko said.

The east-west route in the park - Big Oak Flat Road, or California 120 West, to Crane Flat and Tioga Road, or California 120 East - remains open.

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

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