Growing Mendocino Complex Fires Prompt More Evacuations

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The Mendocino Complex fires, which started July 27, have spread to more than 153,000 acres, destroying more than a dozen residences and threatening local vineyards and wineries. An estimated 55 homes have been already been destroyed.

This year the California wildfire season is more destructive than in years past, burning about 290,000 acres (117,300 hectares), more than 2X the 5-year average over that same frame, according to CalFire.

Both areas remained under a "Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service for strong winds, low relative humidity and temperatures topping 90F (32C), all conditions that can drive the growth of wildfires.

Brown's call for help came shortly before authorities called on residents in Glenn and Colusa counties in Northern California to evacuate as a wildfire there continues to grow.

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

The Mendocino Complex Fire, made up of two separate blazes that merged near Ukiah, north of Sacramento, increased by 25 percent overnight and has blackened around 1000 square kilometres since yesterday morning. Thousands of people remain evacuated.

Meteorologist Steve Anderson said temperatures will remain in the 90s in the region throughout the week with wind gusts reaching 25 miles per hour during the day Sunday. The severity of this year's fires has prompted California Gov.

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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.

In total, 14 states are now reporting large fires.

However, most evacuations were lifted by Saturday in and around Redding, where armies of firefighters and fleets of aircraft continue battling an huge blaze about 100 miles south of the OR line.

Yesterday, Firefighters had managed to contain 41 per cent of the Carr blaze, and authorities were letting some evacuees return.

The fire burned slowly for days before winds suddenly whipped it up last week and drove it furiously through brush and timber. The whirl uprooted trees and tore roofs from homes, Dykema said.

Fire season is already in full swing, and California is off to its worst start in almost a decade, with 3,770 fires this year, according to Cal Fire, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

This year, California wildfires have burned more land earlier in the fire season than usual, Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said during a news conference on Saturday.