Strong winds continue to fuel California wildfires

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The family, who wore masks and spotted a sign warning of hazardous materials, received hugs and pats on the back from disaster relief volunteers who met them.

"We think we're making pretty good progress holding Scotts Valley, and we don't believe we lost any structures in Scotts Valley", Blankenheim said. "I see there's a few statuaries in the backyard that maybe we can save".

The Mendocino Complex Fire grew to 157,450 acres (63,700 hectares) late Friday, about half the size of Los Angeles, forcing almost 16,000 homeowners to flee a blaze that has destroyed 88 structures about 93 miles (150 km) north of San Francisco, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). Some areas on the fire's southeastern flank were reopened to residents.

Tens of thousands of people remain under evacuation orders. Fourteen homes and 24 other structures have been destroyed, and eight other homes have been damaged, according to Cal Fire.

Over 4,300 personnel assigned to the blaze have carved containment lines around 37 percent of the perimeter of the blaze.

The National 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.

More than 13,000 firefighters are battling blazes statewide with the help of crews from as far away as Florida.

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Since 2008, California has experienced nine of the top 20 most destructive wildfires in its history in terms of structures burned, according to a CalFire report. Every year is teaching the fire authorities new lessons. Jerry Brown. "We're being surprised". It continues to threaten communities in northern Lake County.

Two firefighters have been killed there since a fire erupted just west of Yosemite in the Sierra National Forest.

To the southwest of Redding, new evacuations were ordered late Thursday at the Mendocino Complex, where twin fires have ravaged a combined 250 square miles (621 square kilometers), destroyed 41 residences and threatened 9,200 homes.

"After aggressively suppressing fires for the last 100 years we have put our forests in a state of peril", said Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter.

A 100-square mile fire near Yosemite National Park prompted evacuation orders on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) for the community of Wawona inside the park, which has fewer than 200 residents.

The new evacuation area extends to the scar of the Pawnee Fire (in black on the map above), which burned 15,185 acres near the reservoir in June and July.